Monday, December 30, 2019

New Years Special update - New 5e Species - Vamps


Note: The following was left on the cutting room floor and is mainly an attempt to make vampires a viable pc species:

Desmodus rotundus, picture taken at Sangayan Island, Paracas National Reserve, Departamento Ica, Peru.
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Long considered in the story of myth and legend, these undead creatures have a long and twisted history in the depths of Earth's past.  Depending on your point of view, Vamps are either blessed or doomed to live forever.  

A great many tales and some bizarre superstitions have been formed around Vamps and the trouble is the distinction between them and true vampires.  Vamps are very different from true vampires, in that they are not quite as powerful, but do not have many of the vulnerabilities of their monstrous cousins.  However, throughout history Vamps were usually the servant lackeys of the true vampire nobility.

Both Vamps and vampires have a noteworthy presence in many ancient human cultures and in the past made many travelers afraid to roam the night.  But, it is thought that sometime in the medieval dark ages Vamps began to infiltrate human society rather than live like wild undead bandits, with true vampires running the entire show from behind the scenes.  This Subversion of human culture brought them closer to their prey and a complex symbiotic relationship evolved between mortals and this undead. 

Unconfirmed Vamp tales tell that this continued well into the 21st century.  Many political parties, corporations, organizations, and criminal cartels were fronts for Vamp families headed by elite true vampire ladies and lords that were pulling the strings of the entire world.  And for a time it was the golden age.

That is until the Times of Revelations.  The majority of the Vamp populations were decimated by the magical cataclysm as much as their human counterparts.  Worse, as the Fallen Lords began to occupy the world, the true vampire lords were forced into hiding or else face becoming pawns of these strange necromantic beings.  Vamps were left to fend for themselves for the first time in a millennium. 

The unlife of a Vamp in the times of Dark Revelations is a dangerous one.  They need to travel from place to place seeking out mortal blood to continue their existence.  Smart Vamps travel in packs and try to plan out their long existence rather than randomly raiding. 

There is one place that many roaming Vamps have found they can once again call home: the Fiend Marches.   This is one of the few areas in North America where Vamps are not only tolerated but respected.  Here their old corporate knowhow and suave cultural sense are treasured assets.  They have found niches in espionage, law, and public relations.  Some Vamps have quickly risen on the corporate ladder to the status of CEO.   Still, many Vampires find time to pursue their other preferred career choice: playboy extraordinaire.

A civilized Vamp does seem to plan their itinerary around humans.  Humans, for the most part, fear and hate Vamps, a natural reaction to their primary predator.  Despite this, some Human settlements are willing to sacrifice a couple of pints of blood a day to Vamps willing to protect them against even worse horrors.

Vamps dislike Elves since the dawn of time they have stood between Vamps and domination over the mortal world, or at least that’s what they tell humans.  On occasion, practical alliances have been forged with fey-kind when needing to unite against a common foe or for some shared goal…which in the case of Bogeys or Gnomes is usually money or resource related.  

Vamps consider the ever buzzing Feylins nothing more than annoyances that can blow their cover when trying to remain subtle; paradoxically it is the Feylin that has started the odd post-post-post-modern the trend of Vamps becoming more acceptable. 

Vamps tend to move often.  They prefer forested and urban areas away from the direct light of day and are rarely found in deserts or the wide-open prairie.    Many Vamps go incognito and can easily pass for a normal human when need be, and a number have joined adventuring parties without the party ever knowing.  Others are quite open about their background.  Realizing many people are willing to make a deal with the devil they know, rather than one they don’t.  As a spy that can easily pass in and out of the Moundlands and just about anywhere else; though of course most of their operations are at night or indoors.  

Vamps are more or less human in personality and origin and thus are complex characters.  They can feel love, hatred, and even fear.  But despite their apparent normalcy Vamps are driven by one unfortunate thing: their thrust for blood.  A well-fed Vamp can be civil, sexy and quite intellectual.  A starved Vamp shows their true colors and becomes ravenous and rabid in demeanor until filled.

Vamps have all the normal human traits with a few exceptions.  They tend to be pale in complexion for their particular skin tone and are slightly cold and clammy to touch.  Otherwise, they can easily pass for human, more so than any other undead.

While there are many myths about what constitutes a Vamp much has been mixed up with those of a true vampire.  But a few things are true. Vamps have long sharp canine teeth, the need for blood, and a nasty reaction to the sun, though far from being as deadly as for true vampires.

Civilized Vamps enjoy gothic or flamboyant clothing, designer business suits, high-quality leather and all the trappings of a cosmopolitan lifestyle.  Style-wise, they are quite out of place in the midst of a post-post-apocalyptic world. 

Alice Eis and Bert French in Robert G. Vignola's The Vampire 1913
Public Domain

Vamp Traits

Creature Type:  You are an Undead for the purposes of targeting
Ability Score Increase:  Increase each of your Ability scores by 1 point each, up to their normal maximum (20).
·         Talent Access:  You gain access to the Living Dead and Senses species talent trees.
·         Age:  You typically look to be age 20 to 50, but never otherwise age.
·         Size:  Same as a human.  Your size is Medium.
·         Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
·         Language:  You can speak, read, and write Spiritspeak, Trade Tongue, and one language of choice.
·         Darkvision:  You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
·         Bite:  You start with a bite as a natural light finesse weapon that does 1d6 piercing damage.  You may use bite if your hands are occupied or restrained and may even make two-weapon fighting attacks with your bite as your off-hand/bonus attack when using a two-handed weapon in your hands.
·         Devour Blood:  See this talent under the Living Dead species talent tree.
·         Health and Rest:  You still must rest like your core race, with short and long rests still having their normal effect on you.  You still can suffer from exhaustion, but instead of a purely physical effect, it is more mental or metaphysical in nature.  Old “circuitry” in your brain still fires up to tell you that you must rest or parts of your undead body start to seize up or even fall apart if you don’t take time to rework them.   You can still “die” like a normal character and still must make death saving throws.  
·         Radiant Vulnerable:  You gain vulnerability to radiant damage, and any damage was done with a traditional silvered weapon. 
·         Resistances and Immunities:  You gain resistance to necrotic and poison damage.  You gain immunity to the poisoned condition, diseases, suffocation and starvation (see thirst for blood). 
·         Sun Sensitivity:  You have disadvantage on all ability checks, saves, skills and attack rolls while exposed to sunlight or sunlight effects.  Being clearly heavily obscured or having full cover will protect you from this effect.  Note most armor and vehicles will not protect you from this unless specifically stated.
·         Thirst for Blood:  You still may suffer from thirst like any character.  However, you must drink fresh blood from a beast, fey, giant, humanoid, or monstrosity instead of water or other beverages.  Fresh blood must be no more than 24 hours old.

République de la Nuit

The above link is an attempt to integrate said Vampires into the Hodgepocalypse which is located in the former province of Quebec.

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