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    Vampires, Expanded



    "I'm going to tell you a secret, but I think you already know it. Becoming a vampire doesn't change your personality; it liberates it. A vampire is the only truly free man. All his darkness, all his excesses.... they can run amok. He wants a girl, take twenty. He wants a boy, do the same. The world is his. The only limit is his imagination. Now, these people will tell you you're wrong. They'll call you a monster, because they're killers, but they're still in chains. Because that little scratch of conscience? That's not you anymore.
    -William Herrick (Being Human)

    Perhaps one of the most fascinating types of undead creature is the vampire; not only are they an extremely varied lot, but they represent some of the worst depravities of the humanoid spirit; selfishness, greed, lust, and absolute apathy towards every other living thing. Vampires are considered by some to be the ultimate undead predator; a wolf that fits perfectly in the clothing of the sheep they hunt.

    Few members of the undead are as iconic as the vampire; a mere mention of the word evokes strong imagery of monsters baptized in the blood of the innocent. Legends of all sorts spring around the vampire, and few creatures are as deeply entrenched in myth and folktales. The purpose of this passage is simple; to showcase the nature of these monstrosities, and to perhaps give a greater insight on how the minds of such creatures function.

    At the same time, it is important to note that due to the diversity exhibited among vampires, there may very well be vampiric creatures that do not fully fit the description given here.


    History/Origins
    As to be expected from a create entirely apart from the natural world, it is difficult to say with certainly just how the original vampires were spawned. There is no evolutionary history, no solid point in history where someone can look to and say “That is when vampirism began.” Instead, scholars must rely on myths and legends to piece things together.

    One of the most common legends say that vampires are actually the result of a Bloodfiend summoned from the Abyss draining the blood of a living mortal; though the mortal could not transform into a Bloodfiend, it is said that the curse mutated and created a creature that was a fusion of mortal and demonic revenant. This theory has been more or less discredited, as all known instances of Bloodfiends draining mortals have resulted in little more than dead mortals.

    Another theory is that the original vampires were created from a specific curse long ago, and these original vampires spread their curse through their bite and energy-drain. To date there are no known curses that cause their victims to become vampires upon death. People continue to cite this theory, however, claiming that it was not mortal magic that caused them to rise from the grave. They claim it was the Divine cursing those who were particularly lustful or greedy in life, and that even today anyone who exhibits these traits and are improperly buried may yet rise again as a bloodsucker.

    All that is known for sure is that vampirism can be spread from one being to another like a horrid disease, though fortunately only physical contact can transmit it. This may be for the best, as a world overrun by such monsters would most definitely be a horrific sight to behold.
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    Reserved for Vampire Physiology

    Last edited by LOTRfan; 2013-07-05 at 12:19 AM.
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    Vampire Psychology
    What one must remember about a vampire is that it is soulless. While it may still resemble the person it once was, the corpse is little more than a shell that takes on the most basic traits of the soul that it once possessed. This can manifest itself in many different ways; some vampires are extremely similar to their former selves that the subtle evilness they now exhibit is all the more disturbing, while others are so radically different from whom they once were that they are barely recognizable.

    These twists of personality (whether they be subtle or not) are usually extremely disconcerting to those that the vampire knew in life. The exact nature of these twists varies from vampire to vampire, and so it is hard to predict how different a vampire will be from their living state. A woman who loved her children above all else, for example, might come back with an intense desire to torture them or with a perverse sexual lust for them, while another vampire in the same situation may find she has no emotion regarding her offspring at all. Usually, they retain enough of their core personality that their alignment only shifts on the moral rather than ethical scale, but cases where a vampire becomes the alignment diametrically opposed to the one it had in life is not unheard of.

    One thing that is definite is this, however; the loss of the mortal soul has resulted in the vampire being irrevocably evil. It is filled with a distinct hatred of the living and an inability to empathize with other creatures. While they may occasionally form relationships with other creatures (living or undead), they only tend to last for as long as they are convenient for the vampire. In the mind of one of these predators, everything around them is simply a tool for, or a short distraction from, the satiation of their hungers. A vampire simply cannot behave in such a way that can be called truly altruistic or good; their lack of soul (and thus lack of free will) will not allow them to.

    When a vampire is “born,” the negative energy that animates it also reactivates the parts of the brain that control the creature’s memory, which grants it access to all the experiences that it had in life. As mentioned before, their lack of a soul means that they may not necessarily feel the same way that they did in life about such memories. For all intents and purposes, the original intelligence that was once housed within the body has been extinguished, with a new one taking its place. Some of these new intelligences may see these memories as integral to who they are, revealing who they were in the past. Other vampires see these memories as little more than the remains of some poor dead fool who (besides the fact that they share a face and body) is not related to them at all. Vampires with such an outlook usually go out of their way to attack/destroy people and objects who directly remind them of their past.

    Like many other spawn-creating undead, the drive to propagate their kind is ingrained into a vampire. Vampires gain a sense of pleasure from creating spawn, which it does in two ways; first, any creature that is completely drained of its energy rises as a vampire spawn one to four days after its burial. The act of creating spawn in this way is so mindlessly pleasuring that in many cases a vampire will perform this action and actually abandon the spawn created in such a manner. Any creature drained completely of its blood by a vampire rises as a vampire spawn or fully-fledged vampire, depending on how strong the victim was (a victim needs at least 4 HD to be a vampire).

    Unlike other vampires, vampire spawn are often extremely disoriented and disconnected from their past lives. They still have memories of their lives, but these memories are murky and almost vision-like. Because the connection to their mortality is so weak compared to that of a standard vampire’s, vampire spawn are often more bestial and less subtle than their more powerful kin. Most vampires feel themselves to be kings/gods among men, and as a result take great pleasure in keeping spawn and dominated mortals as lackeys.


    Often during combat or feeding sessions, a vampire’s face contorts into a monstrous visage. This is especially true among vampire spawn, who have a weaker than average grasp of who they once were
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    Vampires and Feeding
    A vampire is haunted by two forms of “hunger;” the inescapable craving for lifeforce, and their true dependence on blood to exist. Technically, a vampire cannot die of “starvation” from a lack of either of these things, but their physical and psychological states do in fact deteriorate over time if they are not satiated regularly.

    The most important urge out of the two is the urge to drink the blood of the living. Vampires are dependent on their diet of blood (preferably from an intelligent being, but any sort of mortal blood will do in a pinch). Vampires must drink a quantity of blood that would completely drain one humanoid, monstrous humanoid, or giant of Small size or larger per week in order to satiate their hunger. Though less favorable, a vampire can gain the same amount of sustenance by draining two animals or magical beasts of Small size or larger. Though vampires do not find dragon’s blood particularly appetizing, a vampire can subsist on a single dragon of Small size or larger for two weeks. Vampires utterly refuse to drink from Outsiders or Fey, though the reason behind this is not known. This blood is extremely important because it is what grants vampires their youthful and lifelike appearance.

    While their fast healing will continue to protect the vampire from any true harm, a vampire who goes a long time without feeding on blood will find that their bodies begin to decay. This is most noticeable by the face; the nose decomposes, the cheeks thin, and the ears elongate as the remaining flesh and muscle around the head contracts. This gives the vampire a feral, vaguely bat-like appearance. The fingers and toes of a vampire also become unnaturally thin, with the nails becoming more pronounced. A vampire who has gone at least four weeks without feeding loses its slam attack, instead having two claw attacks that deal the same amount of damage as their slam attack did. For every week a vampire goes without drinking blood, a vampire must make a Will save (DC 10 + twice the number of weeks a vampire has gone without blood) or suffer 1 point of Wisdom damage. This loss of Wisdom cannot be healed until the vampire has drained at least 1 point of Constitution damage from a living creature. The minimum score a vampire’s Wisdom can be reduced to is 1, though at this stage they are little more than living skeletons; gaunt, animalistic vampires who are incapable of doing anything other than attempting to feed.


    A vampire drinking for the first time in weeks

    Though not as important, most vampires tend to need to satiate their craving for lifeforce more than they need to satiate their thirst for blood. Though there are no physical or cosmetic adverse effects to not draining lifeforce, the desire for it is much more maddening than their simple hunger. A vampire who goes more than a week without bestowing at least two negative levels on a creature must make a Will save (DC 15 + number of weeks without bestowing negative levels) or suffer from 2 points of Wisdom damage. A vampire who has not drained life force but is still satiating their diet for blood gains a +4 racial bonus to make this saving throw.

    Though a vampire is very lifelike for an undead creature, everything comes second to its desire to feed. Even vampires who are usually quite affable and charming (despite their soulless nature) show their true colors after going for a few days without feeding. In that way, vampires can be said to be lust incarnate; though they usually don’t gorge themselves, they greedily go after the sustenance they so vehemently desire while completely disregarding every creature that gets within their way. As far as a vampire is concerned, everyone else is a tool to be used or an eventual source of food.
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    Vampire Variants
    In addition to the standard vampire (the creature that this article describes in great detail), there are several other “breeds” of vampire with their own unique characteristics.

    Perhaps the most threatening of the other vampire strains is the upyr (or “terror vampire”), which is unique in the fact that it does not need to drink blood to maintain its lively appearance. Though they do not need to drink blood, they still do so out of a perverse love for bloodshed. There are some accounts of upyrs that even bathe in the blood of their victims. Instead of blood, they need to feed on the psychic energy of their victims. Upyrs also capable of a variety of spell-like abilities, most of which deal with tricking their victims through hallucinations and phantasms. Whereas other vampires can dominate their opponents by looking into their eyes, upyrs have a different ability; they can cause a chosen victim to become sickened, panicked, or even fall comatose by contorting themselves into a monstrous visage (usually involving causing their eyes to melt, revealing their rows of shark-like teeth, or even causing insects to appear out of the folds of their flesh). One of the most frightening abilities they have, however, is the fact that they can temporarily repress their vampiric nature, causing them to lose the weaknesses that usually plague their kind. Some accounts even speak of upyrs hunting in broad daylight. Unlike other vampires, upyrs cannot propagate their own kind; when an upyr spawns, the resultant creature is either standard vampire or a vampire spawn. Certain bloodlines of living humanoids (most of whom unknowingly) carry the genetic predilection to rise as upyrs, and even then the humanoid must commit suicide in order for such a spontaneous “rebirth” to occur.

    The dreaded penanggalan is even better adapted to functioning in sunlight than the upyr. These creatures can pass as completely normal humanoids, to the point that they appear to have the alignment they had in life when observed with magic, and cannot be turned or rebuked. At night, however, such creatures find a secluded spot to lie down, and the head detaches itself from the body (bringing its heart, lungs, and intestines along with it) and flies through the darkened air. It is said that the original penanggalan was a barren midwife who, driven to insane with jealousy, began to kill the infants in her village. When she was discovered, she was hanged, with horses being used to rip the body from her head. That night, her body reanimated and continued its killing with a brand new sense of vigor. By killing the woman who was killing their children, the villagers only made her stronger. The idea that penanggalans are always women is a misconception, though most do have a preference for small children and newborn babies.


    Penanggalan

    While the other two variants are more resistant to the sun than the standard vampire, varacolaci (also called shadow or moonbane vampires) are extremely vulnerable. In addition to true sunlight, magical light also sickens them (despite the fact that normally undead are immune to this condition). Even moonlight can affect varacolaci, both slowing and weakening them. As a result, most varacolaci reside underground, where sunlight never reaches. A varacolaci has other powers that somewhat make up for their extreme weaknesses to light, including the ability to create an artificial darkness around them (leading to some legends that they can cause eclipses). These vampires gain the nickname “shadow vampire” from their ability to transform into a shadow-like creature, as well for their habit of summoning undead shadows to work as their servants.

    The final “breed” is distant from the other strains of vampirism in that it only affects outsiders with the evil subtype; Bloodfiends, as they are known, originated in the Abyss before spreading to the other Lower Planes. These creatures are like the midway point between true vampires and spawn; whereas they only recall glimpses of their previous existence, they are fully capable of propagating their kind. Since outsiders are souls given corporeal form, bloodfiends are unique in that they have the essence of the creature they were created form (even if they were warped both physically and mentally to resemble the bloodfiend from which they were spawned from).
    Last edited by LOTRfan; 2013-07-05 at 12:39 AM.
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    Reserved for Revised Vampire Template
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    Reserved for converted (4e to 3.5e) race; Vryloka
    Last edited by LOTRfan; 2013-07-05 at 12:24 AM.
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    Well, I just realized that I posted this in the wrong section. I meant for this to be in World Building, as this is mostly fluff and a couple extra rules (like updating staking). Oh well.

    I'll add more tomorrow, but I can't do anything else right this second. I want to get as much of this done by the end of next week, because it might be a while until I can post again after that.
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