View Full Version : Vampire Monster Class

2013-09-22, 03:55 AM

Due to another topic, someone was asking how to make an effective Vampire Character. A lot of talk was about how the LA was borked, and to lower the amount of LA from 8, to even 2 or maybe 1. But I took a different approach, and decided to revamp the Vampire Spawn Monster Class from Liber Mortis.

As follows is what I came up with. And I hope to get some interest and play testing done for it. At the very least, it'll be up here if someone ever gets an itch to play a Vampire of a different ilk.

Design Goals:

I wanted a Vampire Class that was good to go "Right out of the Box". I wanted it to feel familiar to people as a Vampire and not just "Necropolitan with some vampire references" or the like.

As well I wanted to do something different with it. I wanted the Vampire on a sliding scale of turning. Meaning that when you take level 1 of a Vampire Class, it's fully effective in some ways. You don't have very many of the Powers, but you also have none of the crippling vampire weaknesses. As you gain in levels in the Vampire Class, you open up more powers, but you also start gaining more advanced weaknesses. The idea was, hopefully, that unlike the Liber Mortis Monster classes it would be worth going part way through. It wasn't meant for just a one level dip, or hoping for a full ride to eventually pay off, but that a player could choose various cut off points to suit his flavor of Vampiric Character Design.

Nuts and Bolt:

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+2|Vampire's Might I, Vampire's Mantle I, Vampire's Blood I, Vampire's Frailty I

+3| Vampire's Mantle II, Vampire's Resilience I, Vampire's Frailty II

+3| Vampire's Might II, Vampire's Blood II, Vampire's Frailty III

+4| Vampire's Mantle III, Vampire's Resilience II, Vampire's Frailty IV

+4| Vampire's Might III, Vampire's Blood III, Vampire's Frailty V

+5| Vampire's Mantle IV, Vampire's Resilience III, Vampire's Frailty VI

+5| Vampire's Might IV, Vampire's Blood IV, Vampire's Frailty VII

+6| Vampire's Mantle V, Vampire's Resilience IV, Vampire's Frailty VIII[/table]

Vampire Monster Class:

You may take this class at level 1, or at any point afterwards that you have been turned by another Vampire (Involving killing you, losing your last gained level, and granting you level 1 of this class). Upon taking your first level of this class, your creature type changes to Undead, gaining the traits common to that type, your Constitution score becoming --. You hit dice all change to d12s, both future and past, regardless of Class. You use your Charisma modifier instead of Constitution for related checks (Fort Saving throws, Concentration checks, number of rounds you can Rage, rolling for Hit Points per level, etc). When you take your first level of the Vampire Class, you keep your original Race Traits (Stat Adjustments, Racial Feats, Skill bonuses, bonus languages, etc), and may still consider yourself a member of that race for prerequisites. You do not have to finish the Vampire Monster class once you take it, but may multiclass out freely. If you ever are restored to a non-undead state, you lose all effects of your Vampire class levels with no compensation.

Vampires are built to feed and operate in civilization. No one can just "Tell" you are a vampire by looking at you. Deception is important, as older, more powerful vampires have crippling weaknesses mortals may prey upon if they guess the nature of the creature.

Class Skills:
Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Hide, Intimidate, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Religion), Knowledge (History). Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spellcraft, Spot.

Skill points per level 4 + Int Mod (4 + Int x 4 at first level).

Hit Dice: d12 per level plus Charisma Modifier

Proficiencies: Vampires are proficient with all Simple weapons. Vampires are proficient with Light Armor, but no type of shield.

Class Features:

Vampire's Might:
Starting at 1st level you gain a natural bite attack, inflicting 1d4 damage + your strength modifier.
At level 3 you gain two claw attacks, dealing 1d6 + half your strength modifier damage, you may use the claw attacks in addition to your bite at -5 to attack. Your Bite now deals Constitution damage to Animal, Humanoid, Monstrous Humanoid targets, instead of lethal damage (Still does lethal damage to other targets).
At level 5 each point of constitution damage you inflict with your bite grants you 2 Temporary HP, Temporary HP do not stack, if you already have Temporary HP when you use this ability, you gain the higher of the two totals (Current Temp HP or the Temp HP from the attack). Temporary HP lasts for up to 10 minutes per level of Vampire you have, after which they disappear. When you successfully deal constitution damage with your bite attack you gain 1 Blood Point, regardless of the damage dealt.
At level 7 if you should drain a target to 0 Constitution with your Bite attack, it dies. 1d4 days later, if the body is still intact and has not been blessed/buried in consecrated ground, it raises as a Ghoul under your control. If it is buried or otherwise placed in a desecrated area, it is raised as a Vampire Spawn instead (Either apply the Vampire Spawn Template, or give them 1 level, replacing their highest level, of the Vampire Monster Class here).

Vampire's Mantle:
At level 1 you gain +1 Natural AC for every level of Vampire you have. You gain a +2 Racial bonus to Balance, Climb, Move Silently, and Hide. This bonus explicitly stacks with any racial bonus that your original race may have had.
At level 2 your Racial Bonus to Balance, Climb, Move Silently, and Hide increases to +4.
At level 4, when you are undetected by a target you deal double damage on your first attack against the target (Target must be unaware of you and flatfooted in relation to you. Being invisible would not count by itself, invisible and hiding would. Having a target balancing, but aware of you, would not count).
At level 6 you are considered to have the effects of the Spider Climb spell active at all times. Additionally you may use Run and Charge actions while under the effects of Spider Climb's movement.
At level 8 you may spend a Blood Point to Fly (As per the spell, with Caster Level equal to your Vampire Level plus any Arcane Caster Levels) as an swift action.

Vampire's Blood:
At level 1 you may feast upon any humanoid, monstrous humanoid, or animal that has been killed in the last 10 minutes. If you do so, you gain a blood point.
You may spend a Blood Point to take 10 on a check even if threatened, gain a +2 bonus to a single roll (Attack, damage, skill checks, etc), spending up to 3 times your Vampire Level in Blood Points on a single roll.
Each Sunset you lose a number of Blood Points equal to 2 times your Vampire Class Levels. This loss cannot reduce your blood points to less than zero.
At level 3 you may spend a Blood Point to make a target attacking you, making an opposed skill check, or making a saving throw against an effect you caused reroll after seeing their result. The target is forced to use the worst of the two results.
At level 5 you may spend Blood Points to spontaneously cast a Necromancy, Illusion, or Enchantment spell off the Sorcerer/Wizard list (You do not suffer Arcane Spell Failure from Armor/Shields while using this ability). You must spend blood points equal to the minimum caster level needed to cast the spell. You cannot spend more Blood Points on this ability than you have Vampire Levels. You cannot apply metamagic to spells cast this way. You may use Blood Point spells to fulfill magical crafting requirements. Your Caster Level is considered equal to your Vampire Class levels for the purpose of taking item creation feats and creating magical items (Stacks with any Arcane caster levels you may already have).
At level 7 you may spend Blood Points on spells equal to twice your Vampire Level, rather than equal to. You may still only cast spells that a wizard/sorcerer of levels equal to your Vampire Level may cast (e.g.: You may cast a level 5 spell as if you had a caster level of 14). This may be used to reach higher caster level requirements on item crafting.

Vampiric Resilience:
At level 2, you gain +2 in either Charisma, Dexterity, or Strength, and a +2 in either Wisdom or Intelligence.
At level 4, you get another +2 in Charisma, Dexterity, or Strength, and +2 in Wisdom or Intelligence.
At level 6, you gain DR 5/Silver or Holy.
At level 8, you gain DR 10/Silver and Holy.

Vampiric Frailty:
At level 1, you ignore the Vampire Weaknesses, they do not apply to you other than the following: If you are reduced to zero HP, you turn to mist to return to a coffin/grave. If you cannot return to one in 2 hours, you die. If you do, you are comatose and helpless until the next sunset (Must be at least 6 hours), at which time you rise with full HP and no Blood Points. During the time you are comatose you may be killed by anyone either using a wooden stake through your heart or using a coup de grace action on you.
At level 2, if you are ever without Blood Points, you lose the effects of Vampiric Resilience and Vampiric Mantle.
At level 3, while you are exposed to Sunlight for more than 1 hour straight, you are Fatigued. If you are Fatigued and remain in the sun for more than 1 additional hour, you are Exhausted, effects that protect vampires from Sunlight also ward off this effect.
At level 4 you may be Turned/Rebuked by Clerics, though are given +8 Turn Resistance. Before level 4 you are not able to be Turned/Rebuked.
At level 5 someone who is aware of your existence as a Vampire may ward you off with a Holy Symbol if they are a true believer and it is a true symbol of faith (No impromptu/accidental symbols, if the person does not truly follow the faith of the icon it has no effect). To Ward you off, someone must present the symbol boldly and openly (Thus cannot be used if Shaken, Sickened, Dazed, etc) and spend a Standard Action to do so. Vampires who are warded off in such a manner cannot approach their target, make attacks, cast spells, or use spell like abilities against the the Warder.
At level 6 exposure to Sunlight inflicts 2d4 damage to you per hour that cannot be prevented by any means. You may heal this damage normally, and effects that prevent a vampire from suffering ill effects from sunlight will prolong the countdown until the next burst of damage. This damage is in addition to the effects of level 3 Vampiric Frailty.
At level 7 any Fire spell/SLA or spell/SLA that inflicts Holy/Sanctified/Divine damage to you is effectively Empowered (As per the Metamagic) for free (No level adjustment or casting time adjustment) (Does not effect already empowered spells, only effects the damage you, personally, take in the case of more than one target).
At level 8 You may be Commanded/Destroyed by Clerics, and your Turn Resistance is lowered to +4. True Believers presenting a Holy Symbol not only wards you off but inflicts 6d6 Holy Damage per round. Sunlight will destroy you if you are exposed to it for more than 1 hour. You may spend 10 blood points to ignore one hour of exposure to sunlight, in addition to other means that Vampires may use to avoid sunlight exposure.

Well there you go. Vampire Monster Class. I hope to have a game where I can try it out (Or con a player into trying it out) fairly soonish. If someone want to critique, or heaven forbid, help playtest and tell me the results, I welcome it with open arms.

I do ask that any comments are at least mildly constructive. I know someone made a Vampire Class out there already but I think this has a different feel, not being as front loaded and designed around a sliding scale where you embrace more of your Vampiric Nature, and it's gifts, but become weaker as a result.

Anyway, quite interested to see what this ends up like around the table. Here's hoping.

2013-09-23, 06:07 AM
While I play Pathfinder rather than 3.5, I think I can still be of some help here. Bear in mind that most of this is based off Pathfinder. I did actually make a character with the class, and though it never got to see play, my DM and I spent some time fixing a few things for Pathfinder, so I know a bit about it.

Charisma Instead of Constitution
Firstly, I think the HP they have is too much. Imagine a Wizard, for instance, taking just a level in this. All of a sudden, all their d4 hit dice become d12, effectively making them so much harder to kill than their peers. I think it's better if you simply say that they get d12 hit dice in this class, and that perhaps their racial hit die change to d12. Also, I believe undead in 3.5 don't get their Charisma bonus to their HP unless they have Unholy Toughness as a Feat/ability?
As for the rest of Charisma-to-Fortitude, I don't think Undead make Fort Saves at all, unless the spell explicitly says so. They don't get a bonus to their Fort Save from Charisma either. (again, by Pathfinder)

Natural Attacks
The bite attack at first level - 1.5x strength modifier? I believe that's only if it's the only weapon being used. Otherwise it is just 1x.
The claws are a secondary weapon, and so should only have a 0.5x strength modifier. They are also made at a -5 to hit.
Now, here at first level's where the massive problem occurs. Your bite attack does Constitution damage? Let's take a simple third level character, a human fighter with 18 strength. Even taking a 1x strength bonus, at level 3, he's dealing 1d4+4 Constitution damage on a hit with his bite. Translated into damage against a monster with 3 hit dice, that's equivalent to 3*0.5*(1d4+4), and it only gets better and better for each level the monster has.
At fifth level, that would also give a hell of a lot of temporary hit points.
Incidentally, all creatures die with 0 Constitution unless they have no Constitution score at all.

Vampire's Mantle
Why is being invisible not enough? A target that cannot sense you counts as flatfooted - Being invisible is a form of hiding.

Vampire's Blood
At third level, I can spend 9 (a total of 18) blood points to get +18 to my bite attack, and +18 to damage. In return, I get 1d4+Str+18 blood points, getting more than I spent, a minimum of 90 temporary hit points, along with outright killing at creature with less than 18 Constitution in one shot (or dealing at least 9 damage per level to that creature instead).
Also, there is no limit on blood points, nor how long they last.
So yeah, with that, the rest of these abilities are completely broken.

Vampiric Resilience
Be wary about giving players DR. That's all I'm going to say, since almost any template you could name gives DR. Glad to see you removed Fast Healing though.

Vampiric Frailty
At first level, this does let you almost completely ignore the risk of death as long as you bring a coffin with you wherever you go. This is actually explicitly a benefit, as an Undead at 0 HP is destroyed usually.
As I have explained above, you're never in a risk of running out of blood points.
Do you not get a Will Save against holy symbols? Makes it pretty easy to take the vampire out of the fight completely by anyone even partially religious, since 'a true believer' is ambiguous - as is a Holy Symbol. Even the big bad guy of the campaign, who believes in The God of Death And Bad Things and is ushering in the next age of undeath can do it, as long as The God of Death And Bad Things has a holy symbol. (or do evil gods automatically count as unholy? I've never been sure about that...)

There are nice ideas here, but the fundamental mechanic of Blood Points is way too easy for anyone even vaguely powergaming to break. Inflicting Constitution damage is also a very bad idea, since it scales so brilliantly with the level of your enemies. After third level, when you get the ability, it becomes so much better than normal damage.
I think that, in order to fix this class, you need to completely revamp the Blood Point mechanic and the Bite. I would suggest completely removing the Constitution damage, and rethinking the temporary hit point thing. It makes sense from a flavour perspective, but realistically it doesn't work in reality unless it has a cap on it.

2013-09-23, 02:45 PM
First off, thank you for the response. Yes, I intended this for 3.5. I don't know or play PF to really say how it'd work out there. But I do value your input and want to cover it.

No, Undead don't normally get Charisma to HP. I don't even think there's a feat for it. If there is it's escaping my memory at the moment, which is entirely possible considering the sheer bulk of material that is 3.5 (Not to mention I never had a subscription to Dungeon or Dragon Magazines). I threw that in as a bonus because, normally, having Undead Status and Hit Dice isn't a boon at all except for d4 HD classes. And even then just barely as the unmodified roll is gonna give you an average of 6.5 HP per dice. And a Wizard with typical point buy Con (Not even counting Faerie Mysteries Initiate which would be better) would be rocking 5.5 HP per level on average. Anything more robust like a Rogue is typically losing out on being "undead", at least HP wise.

Undead do make Fort Saving Throws in 3.5, but only against certain spells. Most of those spells, like Disintegrate, are powerful enough that their lack of Con and most Undead (And the typical Wizards/Sorcerers they become in my experience) are pretty much autokilled when someone packs one of the Save or Lose Fort Save Targetting Spells that do effect them. So in part I wanted to make that a bit less of a crippling weakness. Charisma made sense if only because Undead are normally allowed to use Charisma for Concentration (Which is usually Con) so there's some basis for tying them together.

So most of that was me being "Nice" and fixing what is typically seen as crippling flaws to being Undead. Note about the Wizard HD thing, in 3.5 Wizards can become Undead, not spend any levels to do so (So still a full powered wizard), and still changes all their HD to d12s (Though without the +Cha Modifier, though I believe Faerie Mysteries Initiate, giving them +Int Modifier to HP, would still work).

Gonna fix the Natural Weapons, as yeah, makes sense. Clearly wasn't thinking properly when I was thinking about 150%/100% on them.

I knew the Con damage would be powerful. I'm just still not sure HOW powerful. Granted with the typical Shock Trooper Power Attacking thing it will probably drop any enemy by the time you start hitting about 8th level. Then again if you're really optimizing Power Attacking you're typically dropping anything at that level anyways with your attack routine. That's why I'm not TOO worried about it. But concerned. Say your level 3 example. The 18 strength Vampire fights... lets say an Orc Warrior with 14 Con (Seems reasonable). He bites for 1d4+4 Con damage. Which averages out to dealing 6 Con damage, lowering him to 8 Con, and 3 HP (From 10 to 7 HP). Thing is if the Vampire just clawed him, or hit him with a stick, he probably would have killed the Orc outright. As is with Biting for Con damage, it will take 2-3 attacks instead. Granted the Con damage is more useful against Lower Con enemies and "Bosses" as they're likely to be taken out by a properly optimized "Vampire Fighter" type or be handicapped harder by lowering Con, Saves, etc in the case of Bosses.

Incidentally you do have a point about the Blood and Temporary HP gain. I will probably add a clause saying the Temporary HP doesn't stack, if you have Temporary HP you can't gain any more and lower the Temporary HP gain per damage point to maybe a 2 per damage. Thus an Optimized "Vampire Fighter" type at level 5 might have a +5 Strength Mod, +2 Power Attack, and be gaining at most 22 Temp HP. Significant, but not exactly all powerful. It will make the Vampire fairly hard to "Grind down" with constant damage if they keep successfully biting from round to round. But still quite vulnerable to being plinked at range or alpha striked right out.

I may change the Blood Point gain to +1 on a bite, flat, rather than scaling with damage. Your concerns are valid and I want to find a way to balance it out.

I went with the "Unaware" angle because I wanted it to be harder to pull off. Flat "double damage" is a lot more effective than Sneak Attack, Sudden Strike, Iajutsu Focus, etc, in most optimal cases. That Barbarian type who is smashing face for 110 damage in an attack is going to benefit a lot more from a Double Damage than from something like 8d6 Iajutsu Focus. There's lots of really easy tricks to just be "Invisible" (And being Invisible doesn't make a foe flat footed as far as I recall in 3.5, so it's not like making yourself invisible means they can't defend themselves) or have Combat Advantage, or render a target flat footed. I wanted opportunity cost and to represent the Vampire as a Stalker and Hunter more than a Buzz Saw in combat, Spike Damage versus DPS to borrow MMO Terms. So he lurks in the shadows, hiding until he sees his mark then attacks for heavy damage before melting into the shadows again.

The Blood is really where the Vampire needs work. I'll admit. I had made it so blood didn't "Go away" for bookkeeping ease. No one likes keeping track of things on timers in a game. At least things where the timers really matter and not just "... it'll last 3 rounds of combat" or something like that. I might put a simple limitation on it like "All blood points are used up/set to zero at Sunset of a given day". Combine that with making a Bite only give 1 blood point and an infinite blood loop shouldn't be possible anymore, and be much more reasonable. Thanks for pointing that out as the whole "using blood points to boost damage to get more net blood points" didn't click with me originally.

I need to add bits about permanent death while in the coffin. Something like Beheading (Successful Coup de Grace) or Staking. Otherwise it's not really any better or worse than the original Vampire ability, other than a minimum 6 hours instead of a full day. I can say from playing original Vampires that "Lugging around a coffin" isn't exactly an easy task. It's also like wearing a sign that says "Hey, I'm a Vampire!" around your neck that draws unwanted attention.

Evil Gods would have "Unholy" symbols rather than Holy Symbols, so it doesn't work. I'm not TOO worried about the Holy Symbol warding off. Requiring a True Believer and a Real Symbol makes it harder to ward off a Vampire than it is by the Monster Manual and standard weaknesses as is. The damage is new. I don't particularly want to make it a saving throw, particularly if I keep the Blood Points to Dice Rolls Ability (And I think I want to) as it could make a determined vampire just laugh at the pious man trying to ward him off. I should make a note somewhere that no one just "knows" you're a Vampire automatically, tried to hint at that. So if you can hide the fact that you are one (Thus why they have things like Bluff and Disguise on the Class Skills List), you're in no danger of someone doing it. They need to A) Be a follower of a Good God, and devout in their religion which is not necessarily an easy presumption in various settings. B) Have a specifically made holy symbol on hand (Avoiding silliness Vampires get like people grabbing two random sticks to make a cross to ward off Vampires). C) Actually KNOW the target is a vampire. Thus holding out their holy symbol and praying for guidance or mercy or something isn't going to work (Hey, intimidation, also a class skill.) but actually boldly present it and be going "BACK FOUL VAMPIRE!"

I'll make the changes discussed later today. By the way, will look over your class shortly and offer some thoughts. I don't play, or have any experience with PF, so take it with a grain of salt. But I'll try to be helpful.

2013-09-24, 09:05 AM
Saw your post on the PEACH exchange (I think). I'll try and convey what I'm thinking properly.
I like this rework to make vampires playable. Though after reading your op and then your long post I do have some things to say.

At first glance I thought the con damage at level 3 was a bit to powerful, but then I remembered that most enemies have low hit dice at level 3, and con damage does more real damage the more hit dice you have. Reading your bit on optimizing power attack to do a good amount of con damage and how that might be a problem is something I disagree on since this rework has a low BaB.

Onto the hp. I think that undead hp should be left at stock, no gaining charisma. Compared to the rogue, at d12 you would gain 7 hp per level whereas a rogue with 14 con would be gaining 4 (from hit die) + 2 (con) which is 1 less than the vampire. Stacking charisma on top of that seems excessive considering the amount of immunities you gain from just being undead.

Though you do go on talking about the vampire, power attack, and frontlining and the choice of one of three stats this work can boost are all physical, charisma bumping its hp up. Then there is the int or wis choice. Talking about power attack and shocktrooper and the physical stat bumps have me thinking, do you intend for this vampire to front line or ubercharge? If so why have a poop BaB? Generally such a thing is reserved for pure casters, which the vampire gains none of. If you don't intend on it frontlining why include the option to boost strength? Maybe I have my lore wrong, but I always thought of vampires as sneaky (dex), ancient (knowledge and experience wis/int), and, for lack of better words, charismatic.
Seeing no casting, and limited spells, the only two being spider climb and fly, I see no reason why the vampire has concentration or spellcraft on its skills list.

Well that's what I noticed from your homebrew. Sorry if I don't have better suggestions, but I did critique it honestly. Good luck with the playtesting and let us know how it turns out.

2013-09-24, 02:00 PM
Well, I gave it Rogue BaB. But I was aware that since I let people multiclass out of it wherever they wanted a 3 level dip might be considered a good deal for a Fighter chassis. So it was a thought. And I wanted to consider the Bite/Con Damage problem from the most Optimal situation, which would be the Power Attacking ultra charging badass who might go something like Vampire 3/Fighter 2/Barb/2/PrCing of choice.

Also the Spellcraft and Concentration are there for the Blood abilities at level 5 and 7, which allows them to go "Faux Wizard" with their blood, giving them open access to Necromancy, Illusions, and Enchantment (I know that's 3 of the 4 weakest schools in most people's estimation, but it fits the general concept and fluff of a vampire's powers). Similarly with them gaining access to Invisibility from the Vampire's Mantle.

But as a Base Class/Monster Class I wanted it to have some build options. Just like a Fighter could be a Power Attacker, a Trip Master, a skilled Archer, an Ambusher with Sneak Attack + Thug Variant, etc, etc, etc. I didn't want all Vampires to play the same way... generally speaking.

Their powers lean towards "sneaky gish" I suppose. With natural attacks, bonuses to Dex, AC, stealth skills like Invisibility, racial stealth boosts, spell support that is drawn from the more subtle magics like Enchantment and Illusions. And that was my mindset for what the default "Vampire" would be like. That you'd naturally make it an ambusher, a lurker, and opportunist.

It could make an "Acceptable" spell slinger I'd hope. Losing out spell casting progression is generally verboten for spell caster builds. But stat boosts are nice, and spell access through the blood might be worth the trade. Not for high power builds obviously, but hopefully enough to be interesting.

I'll take the Charisma to HP bit under careful consideration. I might axe it as it's just too different from what you'd normally have in 3.5. Though "flat d12 luck roll for HP" is a complaint I hear a lot about playing Undead.

2013-09-24, 02:12 PM
Guess I missed blood powers 5 and 7 :smallredface:
Also my viewpoint from the cha to hp was based on using the half hit die+1 hp rule since that is all I've ever used. I suppose that was a rather bias statement I made about the hp in that case. I definitely can see this class being a 2 or 3 level dip for a gish. The ability bonuses help reduce MAD and the skills are quite good. If I think of anymore things that might cause problems and/or just interesting things I'll be sure to post them.

2013-09-24, 02:25 PM
Thanks for the comments, by the way. I do appreciate the feedback. And hey, if you get a chance try to get it into a game. :smallbiggrin: More playtesting, always better.