Find stuff

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Vampires - A Character Class

So, as a little exercise, I wrote up rules for player-character Vampires for Lamentations of the Flame Princess. This assumes race-as-class and should be able to slot into most games. 


The Vampire's Nature
Vampires are dead creatures who fake life by stealing the blood of the living.  So long as they are able to feed, they are able to cheat death and are almost indistinguishable from living humans. Folklore attributes a wide variety of abilities and tell-tale signs to vampires, but in truth a new vampire is only a little tougher than a regular human. Over time, though, the creature may learn to draw power from somewhere within themselves, manifesting as the innate ability to cast spells similarly to a cleric. 

A being might become a vampire in one of many ways; those killed by a vampire’s blood draining stand a chance (save against magic to resist) of resurrecting as such a creature, as do those buried without proper ceremonies in some cursed parts of the world. It is also possible, through the study of the occult arts, for a mere mortal to become undead as a desperate way to avoid death by old age or sickness, although this course of action is often swiftly regretted. Regardless of a the character's previous experience points and level, when a character returns from the dead as a vampire, she has 0 experience points and starts at level one.

A vampire is an unnatural being. They are always chaotic aligned, and are vulnerable to holy water, and to spells such as Protection from Evil, Turn Undead, and so forth.

Statistics

Experience costs to gain levels are as the Elf. Hit-dice and saves are as the Cleric.
Spells per day are as detailed below:




The Blood
A vampire who attacks unarmed can chose to bite their opponent. If it hits, a bite attack drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of damage. In addition, a vampire who drains blood heals themselves by that much. Outside of combat, if the victim is not resisting, a vampire can drain any amount of blood; she can drain up to four points of blood a round, until the victim has no hit-points left. A vampire cannot heal or be healed by any means other than consuming blood in this way. They are unnatural creatures and neither magic nor good health is enough to preserve them; only blood will suffice.
A vampire does not need to drink or eat, and suffer no ill effects from failing to do so. They are, however, largely biological beings. They must breath, can be poisoned, and can still feel pain. Other than the fact that they need no food or water, they seem to be living humans.
A vampire who is reduced to zero hit-points is not truly killed, merely rendered inert. Though they seem dead, and their body withers and decays like a corpse, they can be revived. If fed blood, then for each hit-point of blood fed to them, they heal a single point of damage, their form returning to a life-like state as they are recover. When they have recovered all of their hit-points, they will wake, with no memory of the time they spent as a corpse. 
Vampires are vulnerable to sunlight. A vampire whose skin is exposed to direct sunlight feels it striking their skin like a physical blow; they are treated as being severely encumbered so long as they remain exposed to direct sunlight. They also cannot heal by drinking blood whilst in direct sunlight. A vampire who is in strong shade, thick fog, or indoors is not affected in this way, as the force of the sun is filtered, although the experience is still uncomfortable.
A stake through the heart can instantly neutralize a vampire, as without the heart to force blood through their veins, they are powerless. For the vampire to be killed in this way, they must either be helpless or pinned down as the stake is driven in. Doing so causes the vampire to lose all remaining hit-points. If the vampire is not restrained, then in order for the stake to pierce their heart an attacker must both hit them with a melee attack with that stake, and roll a twenty representing the lucky blow that pierces the heart. The vampire cannot be revived until the stake is removed.



Supernatural Abilities
A vampire has a number of innate supernatural abilities. Starting at second level, they gain the ability to cast a small number of spells. They have access to every spell at a level they can cast from; they do not need to use spell-books as these supernatural powers are an innate part of the vampire’s being. 
A vampire must rest from when the sun rises to when the sun sets before preparing spells. After resting, the vampire must meditate surrounded by soil taken from their homeland for an hour. This process is sometimes called memorizing spells.
Spells remain in memory until they are cast, and once they are cast, the power of the spell leaves the caster. However, the same spell can be prepared multiple times. The vampire’s spell charts give the maximum number of spells that can be memorized at each level and the vampire can never have more than this number prepared at one time. A vampire can simply dismiss spells from his mind un-cast, clearing the “spell slot” for other spells when preparing them as usual. Reversible spells must be prepared as either the “straight” version or the “reversed” version; the decision cannot be made at the time of casting.
A vampire can only safely prepare spells once every day, as the sun sets. Their magical nature is innately tied to the dying light.
A vampire cannot cast spells using scrolls or similar methods of binding the magic; their magic is an innate part of them, and not an external force that can be harnessed and directed.




Vampiric Weaknesses
If a vampire has one or more spells prepared and not yet cast, she gains one or more supernatural weaknesses as the chaotic energy of undeath overwhelms her. The more spells she has prepared, the greater her weaknesses become. A vampire who needs to overcome these weaknesses may need to dismiss some spells from their mind without casting them.

One spell prepared: The vampire casts no reflection or shadow.

Two or three spells prepared: The vampire casts no reflection or shadow. The scent of garlic, the sight of a holy symbol and the sound of church bells are all deeply repulsive to a vampire, and she must make a save versus magic when first exposed to them or become paralysed for a round in horror.

Four, five or six spells prepared: The vampire casts no reflection or shadow. The scent of garlic, the sight of a holy symbol and the sound of church bells are all deeply repulsive to a vampire, and she must make a save versus magic when first exposed to them or become paralysed for a round in horror.The vampire must make a save versus magic if she wishes to enter a home uninvited or enter consecrated ground ground at all. If the save is failed, she cannot willingly enter.

Seven, eight, nine or ten spells prepared: The vampire casts no reflection or shadow. The scent of garlic, the sight of a holy symbol and the sound of church bells are all deeply repulsive to a vampire, and she must make a save versus magic when first exposed to them or become paralysed for a round in horror.The vampire must make a save versus magic if she wishes to enter a home uninvited or enter consecrated ground ground at all. If the save is failed, she cannot willingly enter. Exposure to sunlight deals 1 hit-point of damage every turn, as does running water for each turn of immersion.

Eleven or more spells prepared: The vampire casts no reflection or shadow. The scent of garlic, the sight of a holy symbol and the sound of church bells are all deeply repulsive to a vampire, and she must make a save versus magic when first exposed to them or become paralysed for a round in horror.The vampire must make a save versus magic if she wishes to enter a home uninvited or enter consecrated ground ground at all. If the save is failed, she cannot willingly enter. Exposure to sunlight deals 1 hit-point of damage every round, as does running water for each round of immersion.
The Vampire’s Spell List


First Level
1 Command, 2 Charm Person, 3 Feather Fall, 4 Speak with Animals, 5 Spider Climb, 6 Unseen Servant, 
Second Level
Enthral, 2 Change Self, 3 Forget, 4 Invisibility, 5 Levitate, 6 Wall of Fog 
Third Level
1 Fly, 2 Gaseous Form, 3 Hold Person, 4 Speak with Dead, 5 Suggestion, 6 Water Breathing
Fourth Level
1 Charm Monster, 2 Confusion, 3 Invisibility (improved), 4 Plant Growth, 5 Polymorph Self, 6 Protection from Normal Weapons
Fifth Level
1 Animate Dead, 2 Feeble Mind, 3 Hold Monster, 4 Insect Plague, 5 Magic Jar, 6 Passwall


In Other OSR Games
Outside of LotFP, you'll need to do a little work to make the class fit. Saves and hit-dice should stay as the Cleric, and XP costs as the Elf (if you don't have an Elf class in your system, then Magic User experience costs are probably the next closest thing). If your system of choice restricts weapons and armour, then it makes sense for your Vampire to have the same equipment restrictions as a Thief; they don't have heavy armour, but have a decent selection of weapons. If your system of choice doesn't have any of the spells listed, then swap in the closest equivalent or something.
Enjoy!



No comments:

Post a Comment