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Koromin M'thul
2008-07-06, 05:24 PM
I tried to dissuade the rest of my party from exploring that lone crypt on the side of the road, but to no avail. Long story short: we're all vampires now. Our party consists of me, a human/vampire Warlock 7, with a human/vampire Bard 1/Wizard 6, human/vampire rogue 6, and our two hirelings: a human/vampire Cleric 7 and a warforged Fighter 7. What I'm requesting of the forum's collective knowledge is advice and suggestions on how to maximize our strong points and survive while building our power base in the city. Also, how can we best protect our coffins? Note: we are not looking to "cure" ourselves.

Pertinent information:
-Faerun setting
-full vampire abilities, entirely with our own free wills
-we've recently bought a large manor house, complete with 26 slaves (whom we are going to start paying to inspire loyalty)
-in a coastal city that is heavily populated by the followers of Pelor and Heironeous
-resources around 190,000 gp total in liquid funds for the party
-rogue got amazingly lucky and pulled 3 wishes from deck of many things (none used yet)
-have established the beginnings of a working relationship with the main library of the city and a good magic shop
-our DM seems to be letting the rogue take vampire wives a la Bram Stoker style

Thanks for your time and effort

Mark Hall
2008-07-06, 05:32 PM
Which city, and which coast?

Your main problem is that you've got a big possibility of being detected... there are a good number of you, and you're in a city. Find out if your slave population is big enough to serve as a herd, allowing you to feed discretely. If not, you want to kidnap and target transients... which will usually mean adventurers.

Chronicled
2008-07-06, 06:25 PM
A similar situation happened fairly early on in this PbP game (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41888); you may be able to glean some ideas from the thread.

expirement10K14
2008-07-06, 06:30 PM
Why pay servants when you can just turn them into vampires/spawn and control them?
For coffins try putting them in a room with no doors/windows with a one way portal out, as Faerun has rules for portals I believe.

Jade_Tarem
2008-07-06, 06:39 PM
Well, the first suggestion I have is split up. You're in a city that champions Truth, Justice, Light, Goodness, and Smiting Undead. Pretty soon, they're going to notice that the large manor over on Elderberry Street that only seems active at night was not bought by fourteen very pale proctologists, but rather by vampires. A sequence of housing purchases around town by outsiders, however, can be attributed to a flux in the local real estate economy - or, as they called it in earlier times, "coincidence."

One, and only one PC vampire will inhabit the manor - and he'll be the one who has charge over all of the minions and slaves. I recommend the warlock for this position. His two hirelings can stay with him - the cleric especially, since he can bolster undead and channel negative energy (Well, he can now, anyway). :smallamused:

The others will spread out into less grandiose dwellings. Take turns feeding and make sure that you never feed in the same place - or even the same area - twice. Dispose of bodies well, once you run out of ability to control vampire spawn - a string of "disappearances" is a lot harder to investigate than "a string of people turning up dead with man-sized bite marks on thier necks."

Make sure that no one has the appearance of being too "vampire-y." Stock your pantries with garlic (actually, with fake garlic), and have houses/dwellings with lots of windows. Just be sure that none of this backfires.

In the event that people begin to suspect a vampire is on the loose (because let's face it, most people's reaction to hearing about a vampire is not going to be "Then there must be tons of them!"), try to leave clues leading to the manor. When the paladins and clerics of Pelor kick in the doors, looking to kill a vampire or two, jump them with your entire group and all their minions. That should be enough to overwhelm and kill them.

Put your coffins in bags of holding or the like, and carry them around with you when you're out hunting. Travel in pairs - that way, when one falls the other grabs the bag and runs away. In this manner, you're always assured that your coffin is in reach and still in existance.

Finally, taking vampire wives is probably not a good idea, unless you really, really want Van Helsing to show up and stake you all.

Hope this helps - it was an interesting thought excercise. :smallbiggrin:

FoE
2008-07-06, 06:42 PM
Wait a minute ... what happened to the original vampire who sired you? Don't tell me he/she just let you go with free will intact.

In any case, building up a large conclave of vampires = not a very good idea in a city rife with paladins and clerics. That's the quick way of bringing holy wrath down on your asses.

I would minimize the number of vampires you're creating who needs the competition anyway? by destroying the bodies afterwards. If you want undead servants, why not have some ghouls? You could feed them with the corpses of your victims. Just leave the bodies with a little blood to give 'em some taste, and make sure they're fresh.

Ecalsneerg
2008-07-06, 06:45 PM
Wait a minute ... what happened to the original vampire who sired you?

Never underestimate what an adventurer will do?

Cuddly
2008-07-06, 08:38 PM
Why pay servants when you can just turn them into vampires/spawn and control them?

Because you're in a city with clerics of a sun god who loathes the undead and paladins of a deity of justice who also isn't fond of your undeadness?

Seriously, that's a stupidly terribly bad idea.

Also, check out the vampire lord (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mm/20021018a) template. Zero LA.

Greenfaun
2008-07-06, 09:07 PM
Also, check out the vampire lord (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mm/20021018a) template. Zero LA.

I'm pretty sure there's a crucial difference between "LA: +0" and no LA. The latter means "Not for PC's" and since the CR is +3 I don't think you can argue that the author really meant PC vampires should get it for free.

Jade_Tarem
2008-07-06, 09:33 PM
I'm pretty sure there's a crucial difference between "LA: +0" and no LA. The latter means "Not for PC's" and since the CR is +3 I don't think you can argue that the author really meant PC vampires should get it for free.

Correct. You can come up with an LA for "-" creatures, though, using the Savage Species Guide. It's sometimes hard to do it accurately, but looking at the vampire lord template I'm going to eyeball it at an LA of around +6 to +8, which is incredibly high.

Ecalsneerg
2008-07-07, 06:50 AM
I'd say LA doesn't really matter at this point since they're all Vampires, LAs primary function is to try and balance out different party members. Note the word try there.

kamikasei
2008-07-07, 07:01 AM
If they all take vampire lord, then yeah, they'll all be balanced against one another. However, the DM will still need to match challenges to the higher capability of the templated characters, which means making a guess at an appropriate LA. It also means, for the players, looking at whether the abilities granted by the template will compensate for the tougher enemies they'll be facing. (Of course, if the DM is eyeballing things anyway, the enemies will be as tough as the LA deserves.)

hamishspence
2008-07-07, 07:07 AM
Most times, LA adjustment is bigger than CR adjustment, on very rare occasions it might be equal, it is never lower.

Its a template added to a "base vampire" And both Libris Mortis and Savage Species put vampire LA as +8 range. so, minimum Lord LA should be +11.

SolkaTruesilver
2008-07-07, 07:19 AM
If they all take vampire lord, then yeah, they'll all be balanced against one another. However, the DM will still need to match challenges to the higher capability of the templated characters, which means making a guess at an appropriate LA. It also means, for the players, looking at whether the abilities granted by the template will compensate for the tougher enemies they'll be facing. (Of course, if the DM is eyeballing things anyway, the enemies will be as tough as the LA deserves.)

sadly, there is a warforged among them. I don't think he fits the criteria..

Hum... is there a Warfoge equivalent to vampirism? I don't know.. Rustinism? A Rust Lord! flee for your lifes!

LongVin
2008-07-07, 08:43 AM
If they all take vampire lord, then yeah, they'll all be balanced against one another. However, the DM will still need to match challenges to the higher capability of the templated characters, which means making a guess at an appropriate LA. It also means, for the players, looking at whether the abilities granted by the template will compensate for the tougher enemies they'll be facing. (Of course, if the DM is eyeballing things anyway, the enemies will be as tough as the LA deserves.)

They would have to be Vampire's for 100+ years before qualifying for to be a Vampire Lord.

hamishspence
2008-07-07, 10:43 AM
Warforged are Living Constructs. Which, as "living creatures" qualify for the Half Dragon template (or dragon disciple) Which grants them the Dragon type, so they can qualify for Vampiric Dragon.

That works, if they cannot qualify for normal vampire.

hamishspence
2008-07-07, 11:03 AM
And before you ask, yes, it does say "of it least Adult age" But so does the zombie dragon,and we know non-true dragons can be made zombie dragons, cos one exists in Cormyr: Tearing of the Weave: Dragon Turtle. And a smoke drake vampiric dragon, in the Dracorage trilogy.

The hard part is ruling the "Can survive in direct sunlight for a number of rounds equal to age category"

Simplest way would be to rule all non-true Dragons as Adult, and apply the number for Adult category, since no Great Wyrm Drakes exist.

"I...am, Dragula, and I bid you welcome, Mr Harker, to my hoard."

Chronicled
2008-07-07, 11:04 AM
Warforged are Living Constructs. Which, as "living creatures" qualify for the Half Dragon template (or dragon disciple) Which grants them the Dragon type, so they can qualify for Vampiric Dragon.

That works, if they cannot qualify for normal vampire.

They still don't qualify for the Werecreature template :smallfrown:. I want a Warforged Were-Tyrannosaurus named Grimlock :smalltongue:!

Mewtarthio
2008-07-07, 11:09 AM
They still don't qualify for the Werecreature template :smallfrown:. I want a Warforged Were-Tyrannosaurus named Grimlock :smalltongue:!

That's simple enough: Half-Dragon to grant the Dragon type, Half-Troll to grant the Giant type, and *pouf* you're qualified for lycanthropy!

The downside is you've now added so many templates you might have to readjust the CR/LA by hand.

Jade_Tarem
2008-07-07, 11:23 AM
Most times, LA adjustment is bigger than CR adjustment, on very rare occasions it might be equal, it is never lower.

Its a template added to a "base vampire" And both Libris Mortis and Savage Species put vampire LA as +8 range. so, minimum Lord LA should be +11.

Whoops, I thought base vampire LA was +4 when I typed that...

mikeejimbo
2008-07-07, 11:32 AM
I would minimize the number of vampires you're creating who needs the competition anyway? by destroying the bodies afterwards. If you want undead servants, why not have some ghouls? You could feed them with the corpses of your victims. Just leave the bodies with a little blood to give 'em some taste, and make sure they're fresh.

Feeding them to ghouls sounds like a good way to get rid of the bodies, too.

chiasaur11
2008-07-07, 11:59 AM
Feeding them to ghouls sounds like a good way to get rid of the bodies, too.

Gotta love the assumption they're instantly going pure evil.

Or they could start a blood drive.

hamishspence
2008-07-07, 12:03 PM
You do have to apply them in order, if you want a vampire.

Rich had the last word in Dragon Magazine on the subject. I tested it out, and while a Snail currently doesn't exist a Giant Slug does:

Fiendish to make it Magical Beast
Half Troll to make it Giant.
Lycanthrope cos it's FUN.
Half Dragon to make it a Dragon
and now it qualifies for Vampiric Dragon.

Which has a LA of +5: easier to work with than vampire's LA of +8.

hamishspence
2008-07-07, 12:43 PM
Svage Species had rules saying which Type overrode which. (Dragon overrides Giant, nothing overrides Construct) However, since then, Living Constructs came out, and it was ruled you could indeed become a half-dragon warforged. So that may no longer apply. But if it did apply, it would cause problems: cannot turn Dragon into Giant, cannot turn Construct type into Dragon type.

I'd go with templates that change a creatures Type always working if the creature qualifies, as of 3.5, but thats my view.

kjones
2008-07-07, 01:04 PM
I recommend having some Goggles of Day (MIC) handy - buys you a little extra time if you're caught in sunlight. Don't go around wearing them, just have them ready, in your handy haversack or whatever.

Chronicled
2008-07-07, 01:09 PM
That's simple enough: Half-Dragon to grant the Dragon type, Half-Troll to grant the Giant type, and *pouf* you're qualified for lycanthropy!

The downside is you've now added so many templates you might have to readjust the CR/LA by hand.

That'll work! I just need to go into gestalt for it! And maybe pick Megaraptor instead of TRex (18 really bad HD... wtf?)

Yes, while I could probably just get a DM to allow a "custom-built" warforged who effectively has lycanthropy, it's awesome that it's doable by RAW.

mikeejimbo
2008-07-07, 01:15 PM
Gotta love the assumption they're instantly going pure evil.

Or they could start a blood drive.

The vampire template makes them evil. I was originally going to ask if they were evil, but then I realized that. Yes, I know it doesn't make sense, but that's how the rules work. :smalltongue:

mostlyharmful
2008-07-07, 03:15 PM
1. Be very careful to maintain an active daytime face, just because sunlight kills you doesn't mean you have to sleep, so buy a big coach and take note of all the mansions in the city with big proches. When in realllll close observation there's a spell in Lords of Darkness that alows you to wander around in sunlight for a while but it's high level and its got a costly material component so it's not available for a while and its a specail card to be looked at only when your charade is in danger of being rumbled. Tales of your hunting prowess in the wilds outside the city and lookalikes riding horses in the mid distance outside the city works too.

2. Use your powers to manufacture alternate threats and villians for the smitey-dogooders to focus on while you wrap your claws into the inferstructure of the city. Bandits, thieves guild, mindganked serial killers that know nothing, whatever really just make it blatent and a long way away from you.

3. Longterm planning is your friend, it's a little disjoined from the standard PC mentality but a little out of play stratergizing and minion instructing goes a loooong way towards changing the game setting when the DM is aminable to clever schenanigans.

4. When all else fails and it (as it pretty much enevitably will) goes all pear shaped and the pitchforks start a waving remember that you can industrially churn minions (pyramid schemes are a whole barrel of laughs when you're perched on top with a knife and fork:smallbiggrin:) a whole lot faster than the temples can put together paladins and clerics high enough to take you on. it'll be a heck of a way to end the campaign and there's a fair to middling chance that if you get logarithmic in your recruitment drive and set fire to enough of the horizon your PCs can slip out the back and saunter off whistling if they pick the moment.

Koromin M'thul
2008-07-07, 03:16 PM
Wow, I'm glad to see the response here. Thank you all for you contributions, but I would like to pull the thread back on track. I am primarily concerned with keeping us alive and our coffins safe. We are not trying to turn the warforged. He is very useful to us as a trustworthy go-between for our dealings and as a protector.

To address some questions:

-I killed the vampire that initially bit our Wiz/Bard, who later bit us to "share" the new power he had gained.
-we have thus far been grabbing the poor/transients and flying the bodies out to sea
-currently in Sheirtalar, on the East coast of the Shining Sea
-we have coffins in a portable hole that we carry with us and in the basement of our mansion
-we are not necessarily Evil, but are leaning towards evil acts it would seem; we do what it takes to survive, but are not going out of our way to do wanton harm and destruction (although destruction and chaos does tends to follow in our wake...)
-I am against the idea of spawn and wives, but as we all know, you cannot control,nor even predict, the actions of other PCs

Where/how would we get ghouls?
Is there a city/area about that would suit us better?

nargbop
2008-07-07, 05:42 PM
One Wish is an appropriate cost for being immune to the Sun.

Three Wishes.

Battle.

The winners use the wishes.

The losers have breakfast on the veranda with the winners.

Kiara LeSabre
2008-07-07, 05:42 PM
Goodness! You're all so cautious. :smalltongue:

Come on; you're vampires! Live it up! Why not find a city ripe for the picking and attempt to take over completely, turning it into your new dark kingdom? A little ambition and imagination goes a long way. :smallwink:

Tengu
2008-07-07, 05:52 PM
Of course, non-cautious vampires attract adventurers who see them as free experience, and are usually right.

Kiara LeSabre
2008-07-07, 06:00 PM
Of course, non-cautious vampires attract adventurers who see them as free experience, and are usually right.

"Cowards die a thousand deaths. The valiant taste of death but once."

Tengu
2008-07-07, 06:03 PM
All vampires are cowards and emos, shedding bloody tears as they mourn their sunless existence, discounting the fact they now possess awesome powers and almost invincibility.

Falconer
2008-07-07, 06:12 PM
But then again, they could cautiously take control of a city and turn it into their dark kingdom (or dark dictatorship, or dark anarchy, or dark democratic republic, or...). A few charmed or dominated people in key positions could definitely make a difference. The only problem, however, would be to make sure such things aren't traced back to you, at least not until it's too late to do anything.


But if you're more interested in just surviving, i'd recommend pretty much doing everything possible to suggest your characters [I]aren't[I/] vampires. Have look-alikes of yourselves walk around in broad daylight, try to spread rumors of the characters' great and heroic deeds, and try to get into the good graces of the pelorite clerics, if possible. Charities, orphanages, hospitals, etc. Build a positive or at least harmless reputation.

imperialspectre
2008-07-07, 06:19 PM
It would normally go without saying (but with PCs, one never knows) that finding items or using spells to hide the party's alignment or make it appear Good would be a decidedly helpful step in keeping the party un-skewered.

KillianHawkeye
2008-07-07, 06:19 PM
Make sure the Wizard knows nondetection, and carry around a few hundred GP of diamond dust. You don't want your careful scheming to be ruined by detect undead, do you? :smallwink:

comicshorse
2008-07-07, 06:36 PM
"Cowards die a thousand deaths. The valiant taste of death but once."

Well yes but that's because the cowards live so much longer

mikeejimbo
2008-07-07, 06:49 PM
All vampires are cowards and emos, shedding bloody tears as they mourn their sunless existence, discounting the fact they now possess awesome powers and almost invincibility.

It's like I've always said, vampires are all about sex. Unless you're playing them in an RPG, then they're all about angst.

Koromin M'thul
2008-07-07, 06:52 PM
The use of wishes to remove one or more of the vampiric drawbacks has definitely been discussed. Jack, the Wiz/Bard owes me a HUGE favour, so between the two of us I'm sure we can get the Rogue to come around to the idea.

Mark Hall
2008-07-07, 10:18 PM
They still don't qualify for the Werecreature template :smallfrown:. I want a Warforged Were-Tyrannosaurus named Grimlock :smalltongue:!

ME GRIMLOCK LIKE THIS IDEA!

Chronicled
2008-07-07, 10:31 PM
ME GRIMLOCK LIKE THIS IDEA!

ME GRIMLOCK WANT BARBARIAN LEVELS!

The New Bruceski
2008-07-07, 10:36 PM
But if you're more interested in just surviving, i'd recommend pretty much doing everything possible to suggest your characters [I]aren't[I/] vampires. Have look-alikes of yourselves walk around in broad daylight, try to spread rumors of the characters' great and heroic deeds, and try to get into the good graces of the pelorite clerics, if possible. Charities, orphanages, hospitals, etc. Build a positive or at least harmless reputation.

ESPECIALLY if you pursue this route, be fully aware of what you can and can't do. You do not want to be walking along shaking hands at a BBQ next to the church and have to suddenly change route lest you set foot on holy ground. Know all hindrances, and start avoiding them well in advance.

SolkaTruesilver
2008-07-08, 12:34 AM
You might want to read Warhammer Fantasy Role Play's Night's Dark Masters. It provides interesting comments about the mindset of a Vampire (newly turned ones and ancient ones). Could be a lot of help if you don't want to end up with pseudo-vampires (vampires who are vampire in everything but actions).

hamishspence
2008-07-08, 04:42 AM
I think the boards ate one of my posts.

Warforged to vampire dragon by way of half dragon works. "I am Dragula"

4th ed rules make them humanoids, so they could become vampire lords without going through the process of becoming dragons first.

mostlyharmful
2008-07-08, 12:28 PM
Goodness! You're all so cautious. :smalltongue:

Some of us are. Some of us just have a sense of timing :smallbiggrin::smalltongue:

_Puppetmaster_
2008-07-08, 12:49 PM
Incarnate Construct the warforged, he will keep the living construct subtype, and then Vampire him.

Or, instead of vampire-ing him, get him bit by an entomanthrope (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20040621a) and have an insectacon.:smallbiggrin:

Ecalsneerg
2008-07-08, 12:58 PM
It's like I've always said, vampires are all about sex. Unless you're playing them in an RPG, then they're all about angst.

This is actually a good idea, as by now playing the 'historical' sex-driven vampire has got to be surprising to everyone expecting an emo to run at them.

FoE
2008-07-08, 01:20 PM
(Ahem) As to the question of where to get ghouls ...

I've never been well-acquainted with necromancy I typically play "me bash face" types but it makes sense that scouting at your local graveyard should turn up some ghouls. All you really need is one: after that, all you need to do is round up some "volunteers" to make more, as the ghouls can infect others and turn them into ghouls as well.

mabriss lethe
2008-07-08, 11:57 PM
wights might be a better source of muscle than ghouls. better hit dice, very easy to find. you only need one top tier wight. They don't have a cap on the number of spawn they control, so all you need is a general you can command who will spawn a small army.

_Zoot_
2008-07-09, 12:10 AM
(Ahem) As to the question of where to get ghouls ...

I've never been well-acquainted with necromancy I typically play "me bash face" types but it makes sense that scouting at your local graveyard should turn up some ghouls. All you really need is one: after that, all you need to do is round up some "volunteers" to make more, as the ghouls can infect others and turn them into ghouls as well.

Just a idea. But in a city that full of clerics and palidin, there mightn't be very many random undead about...

Imho the best way to get Ghouls is with the spell Ghoul Gauntlet (Liberis Mortis) it turns somone in to a ghoul underyour control. Then that Ghoul can use volunteers or you can just cast the spell agian.

Cuddly
2008-07-09, 12:21 AM
I'm pretty sure there's a crucial difference between "LA: +0" and no LA. The latter means "Not for PC's" and since the CR is +3 I don't think you can argue that the author really meant PC vampires should get it for free.

My bad.
Pulled that from a list of LA +0 races on Gleemax.

Jade_Tarem
2008-07-09, 02:25 AM
This is actually a good idea, as by now playing the 'historical' sex-driven vampire has got to be surprising to everyone expecting an emo to run at them.

"Oh gods, he's slashing my wrists! Get him off!"

Thamir
2008-07-09, 02:57 AM
Do a palpantine, take control of the city and then, if the church turns on you :execute order 66:

Keep your coffins in portable holes , In turn put these portable holes on another plane, maybe one with poisonous gases or negative energy.

Koromin M'thul
2008-07-09, 10:52 AM
I like the idea of the Palpatine route, but we're not planning on staying in the city for too long. The idea we're heading towards is to set up a trading network to generate income and leave behind a few spawn to manage it for us. Possible use of the Master Vampire PrC to aid in this is beind considered. A move to the N. shore of the Lake of Steam or to the Border Kingdoms is looking nice to carve out a home.

OzymandiasVolt
2008-07-09, 11:13 AM
You could always discretely locate a cleric willing to remove your affliction. If the servants of Pelor in the city are all about truth and justice and good like they claim, they'd be totally willing to cure an intelligent undead instead of kill it.

Tormsskull
2008-07-09, 11:30 AM
You could always discretely locate a cleric willing to remove your affliction.

Kind of defeats his purpose...



Note: we are not looking to "cure" ourselves.

NecroJack
2008-07-10, 12:19 PM
Why does everyone want to turn our warforged into some kind of weredinosaur? Anywho, I'm one of Kor's Vampire buddies (5lvl Wiz/ 2lvl Cleric). I was the one who was originally bitten by the vampire and convinced the rest of the party to join the dark side. I'm working my way toward becoming a True Necromancer, so the whole vampire thing kinda works out well for me.
I had not planned on staying in this city for too long. Just long enough to set up a cult and a small colony and have a bit of fun. I would prefer to be out adventuring in the world as opposed to being stuck in a city. Thanks for all of the suggestions though, they should help us out quite a bit.

By the way Kor, you left something that vaguely resembles food in my fridge. I did not eat it though as it seemed to be moving.

FoE
2008-07-10, 12:28 PM
wights might be a better source of muscle than ghouls. better hit dice, very easy to find. you only need one top tier wight. They don't have a cap on the number of spawn they control, so all you need is a general you can command who will spawn a small army.

The point wasn't to get muscle; if they wanted that, they could just make vampire spawn. The point was to erase evidence of their existence by removing the trail of bodies. Wights don't eat people, but ghouls do, and the vampiric adventurers could toss the bodies of their victims into a pit of ghouls to dispose of.

Chronicled
2008-07-10, 02:05 PM
Why does everyone want to turn our warforged into some kind of weredinosaur?

Because it'd be awesome? Why WOULDN'T you want to turn the warforged into a Dinobot?

mostlyharmful
2008-07-10, 02:07 PM
Because it'd be awesome? Why WOULDN'T you want to turn the warforged into a Dinobot?

Maybe some of us fancy turning it into a Pseodonatural Robo-Dread Pirate from space?:smallbiggrin: