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    Default Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as well?

    Based on this debate in the Class & Geekery Thread:

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...neapple/page28

    I was arguing that Belkar was doing a simultaneous (or as good as) Stake & Behead.

    The SRD doesn't specifically list beheading alone as "automatically killing a vampire".

    The closest is this bit of the Vorpal Weapon property:

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems...ons.htm#vorpal

    Some creatures, such as many aberrations and all oozes, have no heads. Others, such as golems and undead creatures other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads. Most other creatures, however, die when their heads are cut off.

    It would be interesting to hear The Giant's take on it.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Well, since Belkar's stake hand is free in cutting off ponchela's head, with no conclusive evidence of where the stake was, it looks like in OoTS that decapitation does kill vampires permanently.

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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    By RAW, it doesn't.

    "Driving a wooden stake through a vampire’s heart instantly slays the monster. However, it returns to life if the stake is removed, unless the body is destroyed. A popular tactic is to cut off the creature’s head and fill its mouth with holy wafers (or their equivalent)."

    So Cindy is instead forced to assume gaseous form. She now has two hours to return to her coffin or else she'll be destroyed. "If reduced to 0 hit points in combat, it automatically assumes gaseous form and attempts to escape. It must reach its coffin home within 2 hours or be utterly destroyed."

    As far as we know, she doesn't have a coffin though, so she's a goner. In 2 hours she'll be utterly destroyed.

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    Question Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Vampires that have assumed gaseous form usually have visible eyes though:

    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0874.html

    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots1005.html

    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots1015.html

    On the other side of the coin - even if a permanently destroyed vamp's body automatically turns to dust/mist, in OOTS it usually leaves stuff behind:

    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0906.html

    So, if Ponchula was "properly dead" - where's her armour and holy symbol? They ought to be at Belkar's feet.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2018-07-31 at 07:54 AM.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    So, if Ponchula was "properly dead" - where's her armour and holy symbol? They ought to be at Belkar's feet.
    If you look at this, you'll see that the vampire Roy hit also didn't drop anything: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots1122.html

    Maybe a vampire drops all items once time runs out (so 2 hours)? Another example of vampires not dropping anything: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots1105.html

    Malack was destroyed in sunlight, while the others will be destroyed in 2 hours, so I suppose that might explain why they didn't drop their items (assuming they don't actually have coffins, that is).

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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Lack of a coffin should do for her in about two hours. The mist was floating out of the frame after the Belkster cut off her head.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    My initial thought was that the mist was the same kind of mist that was seen immediately after Malack's destruction - but based on the lack of "stuff left behind" it does seem more probable that Belkar just reduced her to 0 hit points, with the beheading being how it was done.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    It seems clear to me that vampires reduced to 0 HP without a coffin instantly dust and Rich is just ignoring/retconning how Malack left items behind for the sake of not having the scene cluttered.

    As for the beheading, I just assumed it to be an artistic representation of "doing a lot of damage."
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by Sylian View Post
    By RAW, it doesn't.

    "Driving a wooden stake through a vampire’s heart instantly slays the monster. However, it returns to life if the stake is removed, unless the body is destroyed. A popular tactic is to cut off the creature’s head and fill its mouth with holy wafers (or their equivalent)."
    But that's the thing--that quote is entirely unclear on what happens if you skip the whole "stake" part and just decapitate the vampire. Clearly decapitation counts as "destroying" the body if it's been staked first, but what if they haven't?

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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    But that's the thing--that quote is entirely unclear on what happens if you skip the whole "stake" part and just decapitate the vampire. Clearly decapitation counts as "destroying" the body if it's been staked first, but what if they haven't?
    It counts as destroying the body only if there's a stake through their heart. Otherwise, it's just a graphic way of reducing them to 0 (or negative) HP. Anything that would otherwise count as "destroying the body" is useless if there's no stake (except the other methods to kill a vampire, such as sunlight or running water).

    Also, Belkar didn't fill the vampire's mouth with holy wafers, which is mentioned as a necessary part of destroying their body by decapitation, so it's pretty clear that was not what happened.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post
    It seems clear to me that vampires reduced to 0 HP without a coffin instantly dust and Rich is just ignoring/retconning how Malack left items behind for the sake of not having the scene cluttered.
    Malack's scene was totally kosher acording to D&D rules, as vampires exposed to Sunlight are utterly destroyed in the next round unless they can escape (Like Greg did under the shade of the Mechane in a later scene).

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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    Malack's scene was totally kosher acording to D&D rules, as vampires exposed to Sunlight are utterly destroyed in the next round unless they can escape (Like Greg did under the shade of the Mechane in a later scene).
    I know. I'm talking about the other destroyed vampires and why they're not leaving behind items.
    Last edited by Gift Jeraff; 2018-07-31 at 11:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post
    I know. I'm talking ablit the other destroyed vampires and why they're not leaving behind items.
    OK, my headcanon is now that they weren't destroyed, but that they misted as a consequence of dropping below 0 HP, as per RAW (and that that mist is slightly different from the voluntary mist because comic is a visual medium), and that the vampire spirits are now trapped in that form until they reach the coffins they know they don't have - thus they now have two hours left of existence in which to contemplate their lives as they know their time comes slowly to an end. And I'm fine with that.

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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Well, I think we'll have our answer soon enough.
    THE SCRYING EYE AT THE END OF STRIP #698 WAS ZZ'DTRI'S (SOURCE)

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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    I'm gonna say stakes'll do it.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post
    It seems clear to me that vampires reduced to 0 HP without a coffin instantly dust and Rich is just ignoring/retconning how Malack left items behind for the sake of not having the scene cluttered.

    As for the beheading, I just assumed it to be an artistic representation of "doing a lot of damage."
    This is almost all correct, except that it's not a retcon with Malack because Malack does have a coffin, it's just not within range. So he follows the normal vampire rules, while the vampires created by the quick-rise spell (i.e. all the others seen so far) are dead as soon as they hit 0 hp (like most undead). I'm treating it like it is the bond with the coffin that keeps them from dying the moment they hit 0 hp the way most other undead do, rather than an inherent property of their vampire body.

    And yes, that's so I don't have to draw a whole bunch of empty armor/robes in every scene.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post
    I know. I'm talking about the other destroyed vampires and why they're not leaving behind items.
    In those cases it looks like they were forced into gasform and will vanish after two hours, yes.

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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by The Pilgrim View Post
    In those cases it looks like they were forced into gasform and will vanish after two hours, yes.
    This:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    the vampires created by the quick-rise spell (i.e. all the others seen so far) are dead as soon as they hit 0 hp (like most undead). I'm treating it like it is the bond with the coffin that keeps them from dying the moment they hit 0 hp the way most other undead do, rather than an inherent property of their vampire body.
    suggests that there's no "gasform" period - the vampire is dead the moment it reaches 0 hp, rather than having to wait 2 hours before dying.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    This:

    suggests that there's no "gasform" period - the vampire is dead the moment it reaches 0 hp, rather than having to wait 2 hours before dying.

    Well...

    If reduced to 0 hit points in combat, [the vampire] automatically assumes gaseous form and attempts to escape. It must reach its coffin home within 2 hours or be utterly destroyed.
    If there is no coffin at all, then there is no coffin to reach, and therefore nothing to prevent being utterly destroyed, so is there really any difference between "100% chance to be destroyed utterly after floating around for 2 hours" and "destroyed utterly instantly if there is no coffin to reach at all"?

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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    I'm treating it like it is the bond with the coffin that keeps them from dying the moment they hit 0 hp the way most other undead do.
    No coffin = no bond = no floating around.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    It makes a difference because it means the undead creature is ultimately destroyed and the trapped soul is instantly freed, thus Resurrection is possible 2 hours sooner. It would have also made a huge difference if there was a spell that instantly revives force-misted vampires, which is exactly the kind of thing that you would expect to find in Malack's staff.

    EDIT: And narratively it makes a difference because now there's no question as to whether or not a slain quick-rise vampire gained a coffin off-panel. If they're dust, they're gone for good.
    Last edited by Gift Jeraff; 2018-07-31 at 04:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post

    EDIT: And narratively it makes a difference because now there's no question as to whether or not a slain quick-rise vampire gained a coffin off-panel. If they're dust, they're gone for good.
    Going by the "you do not yet have a sarcophagus"

    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0879.html

    it's possible for them to gain a coffin and a bond - but it may be a somewhat time-consuming process.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    That's what I'm saying. Now that we have official confirmation that the vampires are being dusted it shuts down any speculation that they gained a sarcophagus off-panel.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Going by the "you do not yet have a sarcophagus"

    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0879.html

    it's possible for them to gain a coffin and a bond - but it may be a somewhat time-consuming process.
    It involves resting in it for three straight days.

    At least that's how I ruled it when my PC's managed to destroy the coffin of a vampie who was elsewhere.
    I consider myself an author first, a GM second and a player third.

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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This is almost all correct, except that it's not a retcon with Malack because Malack does have a coffin, it's just not within range. So he follows the normal vampire rules, while the vampires created by the quick-rise spell (i.e. all the others seen so far) are dead as soon as they hit 0 hp (like most undead). I'm treating it like it is the bond with the coffin that keeps them from dying the moment they hit 0 hp the way most other undead do, rather than an inherent property of their vampire body.
    The curious thing about that is that it meant Malack wasn't gone-forever when Laurin said "Eye for an eye. Malack's never returning. Neither's his killer." Given that she can (and does) teleport all over the place, including to Bleedingham and back, surely she could have fetched his coffin...

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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by Reboot View Post
    Given that she can (and does) teleport all over the place, including to Bleedingham and back, surely she could have fetched his coffin...

    That only applies when reduced to gaseous form. Sunlight kills it outright, rather than just inflicting hit point damage - so does running water:

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/vampire.htm

    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. Exposing any vampire to direct sunlight disorients it: It can take only a single move action or attack action and is destroyed utterly in the next round if it cannot escape. Similarly, immersing a vampire in running water robs it of one-third of its hit points each round until it is destroyed at the end of the third round of immersion.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2018-07-31 at 06:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by AceOfFools View Post
    It involves resting in it for three straight days.

    At least that's how I ruled it when my PC's managed to destroy the coffin of a vampie who was elsewhere.
    Except there is no rules for it in core 3.5, but I remember a splat book where they could bond with a coffin by putting some of their grave dirt in it. If and how that would apply in this case I have no idea.

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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by Reboot View Post
    The curious thing about that is that it meant Malack wasn't gone-forever when Laurin said "Eye for an eye. Malack's never returning. Neither's his killer." Given that she can (and does) teleport all over the place, including to Bleedingham and back, surely she could have fetched his coffin...
    He died from sunlight exposure. That is instant, he was long dead by the time Laurin even arrived at the scene. The mist form and coffin situation only really happens if the vampire is taken to 0 HP by normal means, not the specific "how to kill a vampire" means.
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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    Quote Originally Posted by Prinygod View Post
    Except there is no rules for it in core 3.5, but I remember a splat book where they could bond with a coffin by putting some of their grave dirt in it. If and how that would apply in this case I have no idea.
    The vampires don't have graves in the first place, so that wouldn't work either. There are no rules for this situation in core 3.5 because the "instant raise" spell Malack had is entirely Rich's home-brew, so whatever method Malack planned to use to link Durkula with a sarcophagus is similarly home-brewed--and I suspect the Giant hasn't actually bothered to figure out what that is, because it's simply not relevant to the story he's told thus far.

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    Default Re: Do OOTS vampires die permanently to beheading alone, or must stakes be used as we

    So Malack left stuff behind because he was killed by the sun, but if was killed by being reduced to 0hp he would have misted out to try and reach his coffin with his stuff. Meanwhile quick-raised vampires mist when dying (and so don't leave anything behind) but since they don't have a coffin they instantly croak as well.

    Do I have that right?

    Does it mean all of Durkon's stuff is destroyed?
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