Friday, October 12, 2012

Six Vile Vampires

Today, I introduce you to six vile vampires who stalk the streets of Nod, or your own campaign. Note, for Blood & Treasure players and TK's - I'm varying the Hit Dice of these vamps - feel free to do the same in your games.

Typhus the Rat

Typhus is a small man, both in terms of physique and spirit. A peddler of tin items he hammered himself, he was bitten one night as he cut through an alley on the way home, hoping to avoid the city guard. Buried* in a pauper's cemetery in a cheap coffin, he soon arose from his grave and place several of the city's beggars under his control. With their help, he exhumed his coffin and secreted it in a cave just outside the city. Here, he has become something of a pack rat, hoarding baubles that he steals from the luminaries of the city and feasting on drunks who have fallen asleep in alleys, so as not to alert the authorities of his presence.

Typhus the Rat: HD 6; HP 18; AC 15 [silver]; Atk 1 bite (1d6) and slam (1d6 + energy drain); Move 30; F12 R12 W9; AL Chaotic (CE); XP 1,500; Special - See B&T - seriously, vampires are loaded with special abilities and vulnerabilities.

Viliann the Bat

Viliann the Bat was a simple tavern wench in life, a tavern wench subjected to much unwanted attention because of her bonny looks, and subjected to an especially unwanted attack one night in the wine cellar of her tavern by a vampire. Viliann was buried in a simple ceremony in a graveyard just outside town and rose as a vampire in her own right one week later. She now haunts the city as an avenger in a dark, hooded cloak, destroying the undead when she can and preying only on men of an evil disposition. She has only once created a spawn herself, and came to regret it. She keep's that spawn's head in a box in her cramped hiding place (in the sewers of the city) as a reminder of her mistake. Viliann appears as a beautiful woman of about 18 years, with spooky eyes and jet black hair.

Viliann the Bat: HD 11; HP 50; AC 15 [silver]; Atk 1 bite (1d6) and slam (1d6 + energy drain); Move 30; F10 R10 W7; AL Chaotic (LE); XP 2,750; Special - See B&T - seriously, vampires are loaded with special abilities and vulnerabilities.

Alaron the Owl

Alaron was a sage in life, and an easy target for a visiting vampire. Killed one night after he invited a stranger in for a late consultation, the sage's body was hidden in a trunk, which now serves as his coffin. Most folk never noticed when the man stopped leaving his home in the daytime, and he still makes himself available for consultations at night. Alaron is fairly selective about whose blood he consumes, preferring the blood of noble students, but taking just enough to sate his thirst and not rouse suspicions. He has managed to enthrall several of the apprentice mages in the city, and uses them to spy on their masters. He carries a hope that a spell or formula might one day appear that can reverse his curse.

Alaron the Owl: HD 8; HP 29; AC 15 [silver]; Atk 1 bite (1d6) and slam (1d6 + energy drain); Move 30; F11 R11 W8; AL Chaotic (NE); XP 2,000; Special - See B&T - seriously, vampires are loaded with special abilities and vulnerabilities.

Dallach the Cat

Dallach the cat is a wanderer, settling in a city long enough to hunt down the most powerful game and then moving on. He usually finds a lonely place to hide his coffin near a city, and then spends about a week in the city sizing up the possible prey - if adventurers are not present, he usually focuses on the local lord, captain of the guard or parish priest. Dallach appears as a tall, ruggedly handsome man with pale, green eyes and long, platinum blond hair tied in a tail. He dresses well, but not too well, and carries a sword and dagger on his belt.

Dallach the Cat: HD 9; HP 36; AC 15 [silver]; Atk 1 bite (1d6) and slam (1d6 + energy drain); Move 30; F11 R11 W8; AL Chaotic (CE); XP 2,250; Special - See B&T - seriously, vampires are loaded with special abilities and vulnerabilities.

Mithlo the Cricket

Mithlo was an itinerant minstrel in life, roaming a large region and stopping for a week or two at different road houses and taverns to entertain before moving on. A handsome lad, he was always popular with the local females, but was careful not to overstay his welcome with the local men. On one of his nocturnal travels to woo the daughter of a local lord, he was taken by a vampire and left in the woods, his body stuffed in a hollow log in a gully. A few days later, he awoke as a vampire, the log serving as his "coffin". His looks, alas, did not survive his death completely intact, as some rotting had set in. He now continues to roam the same region, using his music (he has the musical and spell casting abilities of a 7th level bard) to serenade women at night and lure them to their death. Mithlo has created several spawn, who sometimes gather for moonlight revels around his coffin. His finest conquest was the Lady Bethony, who serves him willingly in hopes of achieving eternal life.

Mithlo the Cricket: HD 7; HP 26; AC 15 [silver]; Atk 1 bite (1d6) and slam (1d6 + energy drain); Move 30; F12 R12 W9; AL Chaotic (NE); XP 1,750; Special - See B&T - seriously, vampires are loaded with special abilities and vulnerabilities; he also has the spellcasting ability and musical abilities of a 7th level bard.

Lothic the Wolf

Lothic was an adventuring fighter who made the greatest mistake of his life when he delved into a haunted ruin in the mountains and drank from a magical fountain. Killed by the blood red wine of the fountain and turned, his already chaotic nature drove him to hunt down his former companions and establish himself in the ruin as a petty robber baron. Soon, he gathered a small army of outlaws to him, and now he preys on the nearby villages and towns, plundering them and seizing women for his vampire harem. Lothic is known for his wolf-skin cape, crimson plate armor and two-handed axe.

Lothic the Wolf: HD 10; HP 44; AC 18 [silver]; Atk 1 bite (1d6) and slam (1d6 + energy drain) or battleaxe (1d8+3); Move 30; F10 R10 W7; AL Chaotic (CE); XP 2,500; Special - See B&T - seriously, vampires are loaded with special abilities and vulnerabilities.

* This just occurred to me: In games and fiction (especially modern fiction), we often see people bitten and drained and turned into vampires right on the spot. But part of the vampire mythos is that they must return to their coffin in dawn - so wouldn't these insta-vamps be toast the next day (or, at least in game terms, be unable to regenerate/heal) if they had never had a coffin in the first place? I think it would make more sense to allow the person to die, be buried, and then begin appearing as a vampire - maybe give it a few days. This might make for more atmosphere, as the person's friends and family would never be sure unless they cut off the corpse's head or took some other precautions. Just a thought.


  1. Cool vampire variations. The animal theme is very appropriate, I think.

    1. Vamp: The Masq sort of sewed up the whole "variations on vampires" in terms of attitude and culture. The animal thing occurred to me today, so I went with it.

  2. This series kind of puts paid to the complaint that all [monsters X] are the same once you've fought just one of them--and what I love is that you make only the most minor of mechanical changes to many of the critters.

  3. I have about four more of them in mind - they'll probably run next week. I think I'll include them in NOD 17 as well - otherwise I'd have to wait to use them until next year.

  4. Is it me, or does his armor look like it's made out of chocolate?

  5. Nice series and nice variations.

    On the subject of coffins...

    I draw this not from any myth or folklore of the Vampire but merely from an immediate observation of the stories mentioned here and elsewhere of the none-coffin-returning-vampire.

    It would seem we have two conditions. One where the dead are laid to rest and rise as undead and one where that are made undead by an already existing vampire. The latter need only hide by day, out of the sunlight, and not necessarily return to their coffin, since they never had one.

    Indeed, the power and safety of the coffin and the original soil (that is an element of folklore rarely remembered - if a vampire were to travel far abroad it would need to take some of its original grave soil with it), might provide a vampire with some of it's additional abilities and level of power. Those insta-vampires, since they are coffin-less, may be less-powerful or versatile in nature.

    Just some ideas.

  6. I think the big shift in vampires happened with the book, I am Legend, which treated them as a plague, rather than supernatural. Gone are the long drawn out deaths that resulted in a burial and rebirth as a vampire, now you simply got bitten and wham, you're a vampire. (Also inspired the new sorts of zombies)

  7. I've just finished reading Dracula, by Bram Stoker. Dracula feeds by first hypnotising his victim and then drinking their blood (this takes some time). The victim has a hazy memory of Dracula's presence, but doesn't remember being bitten. Having your blood drained leaves you feeling weak and tired the next day, but doesn't turn you into a vampire. However, being bitten many times on consecutive nights makes you more and more anemic, and eventually you die. In game turns, maybe 1-4 CON damage per each time your blood is drunk? After you are buried, you return from the grave as a vampire.

    Dracula returns to his coffin at dawn each day to sleep. He is able to walk around in daylight with no apparent ill effects, but during the day he has no special powers, and is vulnerable to attack. In game terms, a normal human rather than a vampire? On the other hand, Dracula is a very old and powerful vampire, maybe he is a special case?

    It was an interesting read, but not as thrilling as I expected. It was also a bit confusing at times, so maybe I'm misinterpreting it? Now I want to watch The Horror of Dracula and see how that compares.

    Oubliette issue 5 has a good article on vampires.

  8. Your roster of vampires gave me a few delicious shivers and serves as a good reminder that *every* vampire should be a special case, folklore and horror being a lot more effective if we don't go all zoological and try to fit them into Darwinian species.

    You might be interested in a post I did summarizing vampire myths from around the world: Useful for culling ideas from, I find.


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