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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Komatik's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default [3.5] Vampire. PEACH

    Some of the things I most love in RPGs as a fan of fantasy are creatures with magic in their blood, nature magic, necromancy and drawing inspiration from the myths of old. I really want to play something more than myself. As a player, I'm in love with toolboxes - the more options, the better. RPGs grant a lot of freedom to use those tools and do interesting things with them.

    It makes sense that I'd love vampires to bits. Warhammer Fantasy background especially. Eternal warrior-sorcerers, necromantic, lots of interesting powers, oozing with theme. Lots of options to the point of being able to do anything in one package, nice amount of raw power, too.

    Yet D&D vampires suck in some ways. The number bonuses are, in some ways, excessive. The feats certainly are. Then there are oddities like level drain and the slam attack. What the hell is up with those? The limitations put on them make them non-workable as adventurers. I won't even get into the LA, the mechanic is horrid and vampires one of the best examples as to why that is so.

    A few years ago tempestman made an amazing Vampire revision, one which I'll be using as a base for my own work because it captures how I feel about many things quite perfectly. My version is much the same, but incorporates more sorcerous powers and clarifies a few things. The magic's strength is tied to the Vampire's character level in some way or another.
    The Con hit from their Blood Drain ability became Constitution damage instead of ability drain - the permanent drain never made any damn sense to me, so damage it is.

    Vampires also became weak to wooden objects, just for kicks. And some staking. Because let's face it, any proper vampire fan enjoys a good staking. The Twilight atrocities deserve a different fate entirely.

    Also, I nerfed Create Spawn and the gaze attack a ton (at least at the levels they are more broken than other stuff), because stupid minionmancy crap is unnecessary to proper vampire feel and helps rein the template's power in some. Besides, the new versions are even more flavorful in some way.

    With that said, some of tempestman's reasoning:

    Quote Originally Posted by tempestman View Post

    "My revenge has just begun! I spread it over centuries and time is on my side." - Bram Stoker's Dracula

    Notes: In the spirit of Halloween I wanted to try my hand at making the vampire into a more player-friendly template. Vampires are arguably one of the coolest monsters in classic (and some modern) fantasy, and while the vampire template presented in the Monster Manual is powerful, its incredibly steep Level Adjustment (+8) makes it all but unplayable in most campaigns.

    • I removed the Slam attack and replaced it with bite and claw attacks. Vampires are known for biting people and drinking their blood, not tackling their prey and inflicting negative levels. The claw attacks were added as a homage to the more modern 30 Days of Night vampires, which not only eat people, but claw off their faces as well.
    • Removed their ability to inflict negative levels. While it's arguable that a vampire's touch can weaken someone, I chose to stick with Constitution drain as their primary way of inflicting harm on enemies outside of straight damage.
    • Alternate Form was changed from rat, bat, or wolf to a swarm of bats or rats. Let werewolves keep their trademark "I turn into a wolf" ability and make the bat and rat transformations a little more enticing.
    • Blood Drain was boosted in power, allowing vampires to drink blood not only in a grapple (which automatically assumes that the vampire bites his prey during the grapple), but when the vampire delivers a particularly nasty bite.
    • Added a vulnerability to fire. In many stories vampires (and most other undead creatures) are particularly weak against fire, so I added it in for flavor as well as balance.
    • Diet Dependency is an undead feature introduced in Libris Mortis that I incorporated into this template fix for one reason: vampires need blood. Yet the original template makes no mention of this. Now vampires will have to drink blood for more than role-play reasons, but because if they don't they'll be driven to madness by their desire to feast.
    • The main difference between Dracula and most vampires is that Dracula could walk out under the light of the sun without bursting in flames and dying a horrible death. Modern vampires? Not so much. Old Dracula just lost some of his powers until the sun set again. So I decided that a well-fed vampire can walk among the living in the day and only lose access to his supernatural powers (Dominate, Damage Reduction, Gaseous Form, Alternate Form, and Create Spawn). A hungry vampire doesn't have the blood of the living coursing through his veins, however, and so sunlight will harm him. I chose to make the vampire takes large amounts of fire damage rather than be instantly destroyed however. Have to give them a sporting chance after all.
    • The vampire's bonus feats were removed since most of them weren't too useful, but since they were free they still increased the vampire's LA.
    • Ability score increases were also reduced, changing the vampire from superhuman to merely powerful.
    And the template itself:


    Vampires are supernatural beings, commonly believe to be a reanimated corpse that feasts upon the blood of the living. Feasting, amassing power, and filling the world with their foul spawn are the chief goals of most vampires.

    Most vampires appear just as they did in life, although their features are typically hardened and feral. They also have glowing red eyes and no shadow or reflection. Some play the part of aristocratic nobles, using their longevity to gather wealth. Others give in to their animalistic tendencies, becoming ferocious hunters.

    Creating a Vampire

    “Vampire” is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid or monstrous humanoid creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A vampire uses all of the base creature’s statistics and special abilities, except as noted here. Furthermore, a vampire’s alignment is automatically shifted to evil (LE, NE, or CE).

    Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to undead (augmented humanoid or monstrous humanoid). Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.

    Hit Dice: Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d12s.

    Speed: Same as the base creature. If the base creature has a swim speed, the vampire retains the ability to swim and is not vulnerable to immersion in running water (see below). If the weather is calm, a powerful vampire can fly at nighttime with speed 50ft and perfect maneuverability (see Blood Power below).

    Armor Class: The base creature’s natural armor bonus improves by +4.

    Attack: A vampire retains all the attacks of the base creature and also gains a bite and two claw attacks it can use while in it's feral aspect if it didn’t already have them (see Feral Aspect below). If the base creature can use weapons, the vampire retains this ability. A creature with natural weapon retains those natural weapons. A vampire fighting without weapons uses either its bite and claw attacks or its primary natural weapon (if it has any). A vampire armed with a weapon uses its bite and claws or a weapon, as it desires.

    Full Attack: A vampire fighting without weapons uses its two claws (primary) and sharp fangs (secondary) to attack. If armed with a weapon, it chooses whether to use the weapon or use its natural attacks.

    {table=head]Size|Bite Damage|Claw Damage

    Damage: Vampires have bite and claw attacks. If the base creature does not have this attack form, use the appropriate damage value from the table according to the vampire’s size. Creatures that have other kinds of natural weapons retain their old damage values or use the appropriate value from the table, whichever is better.

    Special Attacks: A vampire retains all the special attacks of the base creature and gains those described below. Saves have a DC of 10 + ½ the vampire’s HD + the vampire’s Charisma modifier, unless noted otherwise.

    Blood Drain (Ex): A vampire can suck blood from a living victim with its fangs by making a successful grapple check or a bite attack. Successfully dealing at least 5 points of Constitution damage satiates the vampire’s thirst for blood.

    If it pins the foe, it drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution damage each round the pin is maintained. On each successful grapple attack, the vampire gains 5 temporary hit points.

    If the vampire scores a critical hit with its bite against a living creature, that creature takes 1 point of Constitution damage and the vampire gains 1 temporary hit point.

    Blood Powers (Su): Vampires have an innate command of numerous sorcerous abilities - magic is their birthright, and gives them power over other creatures, their own form and even the weather itself. A vampire cannot use its blood powers during the daytime, if exposed to real sunlight or a powerful spell that mimicks it.

    Blood Power - Iron Gaze (Su): A vampire can crush an opponent’s will just by looking into his or her eyes. This is similar to a gaze attack, except that the vampire must use a standard action, and those merely looking at it are not affected. Anyone the vampire targets must succeed on a Will save or fall instantly under the vampire’s influence as though by a hold person spell (caster level 12th, or vampire's character level, whichever is greater), with one exception: The vampire must maintain eye contact to keep the victim still, and can do so indefinitely if he wishes to. The paralyzing effect ends at the end of the victim's next turn after the vampire has broken eye contact.
    The vampire can loosen it's hold to give the creature leeway to speak, for example, otherwise it is paralyzed and transfixed by the vampire's gaze. The ability has a range of 30 feet.
    A Vampire with at least 10HD can attempt to dominate the victim instead (dominate person, caster level vampire's character level). This ability functions exactly as the spell once in effect, the vampire has no need to maintain eye contact with the victim.

    Blood Power - Create Spawn (Su): If the vampire drains the victim’s Constitution to 0 or lower, the victim returns as a spawn. The new vampire spawn is under the command of the vampire that created it and remains enslaved until its master’s destruction. This effect is much like the dominate person spell but cannot be broken. The spawn displays typical signs of being under another's mental control. Spawn are typically absolutely smitten with or simply slavishly, bizarrely obedient to their masters.

    The spawn are identical to the vampires detailed here, except they do not possess a full vampire's blood powers. A spawn is utterly enslaved to the will of it's master, and once freed has it's Wisdom reduced to 0 and is permanently considered thirsty and a ravening monster as detailed in the Bloodthirst entry below. Free vampire spawn instinctively shy from sunlight, hiding during the day. Free vampire spawn cannot hide their feral aspect.

    A vampire can create other, full vampires by means of a more intricate process that requires a willing (or dominated) victim. This ritual can only be conducted near midnight, involves the exchange of blood between the two creatures and takes 1 hour of time to complete. No special materials are needed. The ritual makes roughly as much sound as a person speaking. The vampire conducting the ritual must display it's feral aspect. The newly risen vampire retains much more of its own volition than a spawn would, but cannot harm its master or disobey his orders. Indirect betrayal is possible, but takes a Will save at a -4 penalty to enact - such an action is quite unnatural to the new vampire, and can only be attempted if the vampire truly despises its new master.

    Whether spawn or full vampires, the vampire's victims rise as undead next midnight.

    At any given time a vampire cannot have enslaved spawn totaling no more than twice its own Hit Dice; any spawn it creates that would exceed this limit are created as free-willed vampires or vampire spawn. A vampire that is enslaved may create and slave spawn of its own, so a master vampire can control a number of lesser vampires in this fashion. A vampire may voluntarily free an enslaved spawn in order to enslave a new spawn, but once freed, a vampire or vampire spawn cannot be enslaved again.

    Special Qualities: A vampire retains all of the special qualities of the base creature and gains those described below.

    Feral Aspect (Ex): Vampires often look like normal people, if somewhat more feral in aspect, and maybe a little pale. However, behind the human facade dwells their true self - a bloodthirsty beast. A vampire that has brought forth it's feral aspect clearly isn't a human anymore - their fingers sport sharp claws, their fangs become visible, skin becomes ashen and eyes become unnatural, horrifying pools of sheer black.
    A vampire displaying it's feral aspect is unable to pass for a human except for situations where say, an orc might, can use its natural weapons and utilize the full extent of its dark powers without hindrance. Creatures unused to such a sight
    Intense stress can force the vampire's facade to crack, unveiling the beast within (The DM can subject a stressed vampire to an appropriate Will save to hide it's true nature). A vampire that is ravening (see Bloodthirst, below) cannot hide its feral aspect. A vampire can bring the feral aspect forth to utilize the full extent of its unnatural powers as a swift action.

    Blood Power - Alternate Form (Su): As a standard action a vampire with 8 or more Hit Dice can transform into a swarm of bats or rats. While in his alternate form the vampire cannot use its other blood powers, but it gains the extraordinary special attacks of its new form. It can remain in this form until it assumes another or until sunrise.

    Blood Power - Control Weather (Sp): A vampire with at least 3HD can cast Fog Cloud at will (caster level vampire's character level).
    If the vampire has at least 10HD and has brought forth its feral aspect, it can cast Control Weather at will. The effect of this is always the same: Dark clouds start to gather, rain starts to pour and the winds become a strong enough to make things like flying difficult, though not strong enough to do damage to anything. A vampire can utilize this blood power in the daytime in the form of a long (1 hour) ritual which must be performed indoors in a place well shielded from the sun, such as a cellar.

    Blood Power - Children of the Night (Su): Vampires have dominion over lesser creatures like wolves, rats and bats. Once per night, a vampire that has at least 6HD and has brought forth its feral aspect can howl a call to summon these to serve him.
    The howl calls forth 1d6+1 rat swarms, 1d4+1 bat swarms, or a pack of 3d6 wolves as a standard action. (If the base creature is not terrestrial, this power might summon other creatures of similar power.) These creatures arrive in 2d6 rounds and serve the vampire for up to 1 hour. The creatures are under the vampire's mental control, though they cannot be directed very precisely.

    Damage Reduction (Su): A vampire has damage reduction 10/silver, magic or wood. A vampire’s natural weapons are treated as magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

    Fast Healing (Ex): A vampire heals 5 points of damage each round so long as it has at least 1 hit point and is not thirsty. If reduced to 0 hit points in combat, a vampire is rendered helpless, with one exception. It can assume gaseous form if able and attempt to escape. A vampire taking this desperate option must reach its resting place (usually a coffin) within 2 hours or be reduced to ash (it can travel up to nine miles in 2 hours). Any additional damage dealt to a vampire forced into gaseous form has no effect. A helpless vampire brought to rest in its coffin remains helpless for the day and one hour of nighttime. After that, it regains 1 hit point and then is no longer helpless and resumes healing at a rate of 5 hit points per round.

    Blood Power - Gaseous Form (Su): A vampire with at least 5 HD can assume a gaseous form as a standard action at will. This functions as the spell of the same name (caster level 5th), but the vampire can remain gaseous indefinitely and has a fly speed of 20 feet with perfect maneuverability.

    Resistances (Ex): A vampire has resistance to cold 10 and electricity 10.

    Vulnerability: A vampire is vulnerable to fire damage.

    Blood Power - Spider Climb (Su): A vampire with can climb sheer surfaces as though with a spider climb spell. A vampire with at least 7HD can simply walk on the walls at its normal speed and keep its hands free.

    Bloodthirst: All vampires are diet dependent upon blood. A vampire must feed at least once every 3 days or be forced to make a DC 15 Will save. If the vampire fails its save, it takes 2d4 points of Wisdom damage. If the vampire reaches 0 Wisdom, it retains no volition of its own, no judgment to deter it from seeking blood, even if the vampire’s utter destruction seems likely thereafter. (A player character who reaches 0 Wisdom from a failure to feed is temporarily remanded to the DM, who plays the creature as a ravening beast until the character has fed.)
    A vampire that has not fed on blood within the last week is considered thirsty.

    When the vampire feeds on blood, it immediately regains all of the ability damage it has taken and is no longer thirsty.

    Turn Resistance (Ex): A vampire has +4 turn resistance. If a vampire is thirsty, its turn resistance is reduced to +2.

    Night affinity(Ex): A vampire always has access to domains related to death, undeath, negative energy and the night among choices he would otherwise have from feats, class levels, race and the like.

    A vampire cannot choose domains related to the sun, light, positive energy or life itself (plants or beasts are fine, though, for example). A vampire cannot cast spells that create sunlight or equivalent effects.

    A vampire that can channel positive/negative energy (such as a cleric) channels negative energy as a result of its undead state - a vampire who later turns Good will still channel negative energy.

    If a vampire has an animal companion or animal familiar that isn't a bat, rat, wolf or Evil-aligned, that companion will shun him, and the vampire's and its companion's bond is broken with no other negative effects.

    Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +4, Dex +2, Int +2, Wis +2, Cha +2. As an undead creature, a vampire has no Constitution score.

    Skills: Vampires have a +6 racial bonus on Bluff, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot checks. Otherwise same as the base creature.

    Alignment: When a creature turns into a vampire, the ancient black magic that creates them changes the victim profoundly. Freshly-risen vampires are always, without exception, of Evil alignment. They retain the Law-Chaos axis of their original alignment, and are largely the same person they used to be. Full vampires have free will just like any other creature, and can change their perspectives over time. Spawn are incapable of this. A vampire that is killed and then resurrected keeps its new Evil outlook and personality.

    Level Adjustment: It died in a fire. It was an accident, I swear, I don't have a history of tirades against the mechanic or anything...

    Vampire Weaknesses

    For all their power, vampires have a number of weaknesses.

    Aging: If a vampire doesn’t feed on blood regularly, it beings to age rapidly. Each time a vampire must make a Will save as a result of not feeding, it automatically enters the next age category (standard age to middle age, middle age to old, and old to venerable). The vampire suffers the penalties to Strength and Dexterity, but it does not gain the bonuses to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Drinking blood will automatically restore a vampire to its original age.

    Repelling a Vampire: Vampires cannot tolerate the strong odor of garlic and will not enter an area laced with it unless strongly pressed to - in that case they must succeed on a DC20 Will save. Similarly, they also recoil from a strongly presented holy symbol. A Vampire that is thirsty will cast no reflection in the mirror and will recoil from one.
    These things don’t harm the vampire- they merely keep it at bay. A recoiling vampire must stay at least 5 feet away from a creature holding the mirror or holy symbol and cannot touch or make melee attack against the creature holding for the rest of the encounter. Holding a vampire at bay takes a standard action.

    Vampires are also unable to cross running water, although they can cross a bridge, be carried over it or aboard a ship. A vampire ordered to leave a home or other private building must do so. They may freely enter public places (except temples of good-aligned deities), since these are by definition open to all.

    Slaying a Vampire:Reducing a vampire’s hit points to 0 or lower incapacitates it but doesn’t always destroy it (see the note on fast healing). However, certain attacks can slay vampires.

    A vampire is a creature of the night and thus weakened in daytime: It cannot use its blood powers (though creatures it has dominated are not released) and takes penalties of -4 to Strength and -2 to Dexterity. A vampire that is thirsty is burnt by the sun and takes 4d6 points of fire damage each round it is out in direct sunlight. Damage taken from sunlight isn’t doubled due to the vampire’s vulnerability to fire and cannot be prevented in any way - the vampire must escape to shade or perish.
    Heavy cloud cover, whether natural or called forth by magic, can protect a vampire from the sun's negative effects.

    Deeply or completely immersing a vampire in running water paralyzes it as long as it is immersed. A vampire immersed in water can move, but every single action requires a heroic act of will (DC 30).

    Driving a wooden stake through a vampire’s heart instantly paralyzes the monster and renders it helpless. However, it is not dead and can resume acting if the stake is removed: To kill the vampire, the body must be destroyed. A popular tactic is to cut off the creature’s head and fill its mouth with holy wafers (or their equivalent).

    Burning a vampire or cutting off its head is another effective way of destroying a vampire without triggering its ability to become a cloud of gas. Vampires reduced to 0 hit points in such a fashion are instantly and utterly destroyed, leaving only a small amount of ash.
    Last edited by Komatik; 2014-02-08 at 08:54 PM.
    Avatar by Kymme
    Nice guy =/= Good
    Jerk =/= Evil

    I made a vampire template for 3.5e. PEACH?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: [3.5] Vampire. PEACH

    This is as damn near a perfect vampire template as I have ever seen. But then again I haven't seen that many.
    Last edited by Jakodee; 2014-02-08 at 02:45 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Komatik's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: [3.5] Vampire. PEACH

    Made some corrections to the behavior when exposed to the Sun or immersed in water. Added Night affinity to set some limitations on magical ability and clarify a few things. Added alignment section near the bottom.

    If anyone can proofread this for bugs and oddities, I'd much appreciate it.
    Avatar by Kymme
    Nice guy =/= Good
    Jerk =/= Evil

    I made a vampire template for 3.5e. PEACH?

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