Vampirism (4e Variant Rule)
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Vampirism is both a gift and a curse, a double edged blade where one edge represents the vast amounts of power one who has been afflicted with Vampirism can achieve, the other representing the hunger, the loss of sanity and monstrosity one can become when afflicted.
In this article players and DM’s alike are given a number of options for playing Vampire characters as-well as hints and tip role-playing the slow corrosion of the mind, the ever present hunger and the thirst so much like a drug addiction that haunts a vampires every minute.
Becoming a Vampire
One thing a player must realize before deciding to play a Vampire is it’s going to make things harder for their character, they are essentially going to be a monster and not many people re-act well to monsters, players should expect priests of good deities to look at them in disgust and possibly even try and end their life and so players may wish to keep their character's curse, or gift however they view it, a secret.
In order to become a Vampire one must first be afflicted with Vampirism. Though little is known about Vampirism it is known that whatever causes it can only enter the body by being absorbed into the blood either by being bitten or consuming it, one can consume whatever causes Vampirism by drinking the blood of a Vampire. A character who has has this enter their body has caught the disease Porphyric Hemophilia.
Creating a Vampire
If you want your character to be afflicted with Vampirism, you can choose to be afflicted when you create your character – or you can be infected later, after consulting with your DM.
Because of the nature of Vampirism, some creatures do not fully embrace the affliction instead choosing to put up with the minor thirst without gaining any benefits, some however choose to fully embrace the power available to them reveling in their new dark gifts and casting aside if not entirely their life before the disease invaded their body.
Vampires are blood thirsty in a literal sense and players who wish to have their characters fully embrace the life of a vampire should really think on if it’s what they want, without daily amounts of blood a full vampire will slowly wither, his mind corroding every passing moment before finally turning on their friends, their family and drinking to their hearts content as they transform into a mindless one, who can control their thirst no longer.
The kind of commitment Full on vampirism brings is that of forgetting part of yourself, forgetting what you once where before the affliction and looking only to the future, to what it will grant you in return for feeding it, giving it the blood it requires so that it can thrive on you and slowly making you less alive every day.
Unlike those who don’t embrace Vampirism to the full, full Vampirism is harder to conceal, canine teeth grow sharper and longer, and often the skin become pale and bruised, dark patches form under ones eyes which also become glassy and hold a slight reddish hint to them. The thirst will bother them all the more and just being around the living can be a distraction, one that comes with benefits of course.
Characters who embrace this life may use the following options.
Characters afflicted with vampirism may take multiclass feats to gain additional powers. See Creature of the Thirst for details.
Vampire Powers are called embraces, this is instead of the normal name for Shadow Powers, and Vampire Powers unaffected by feats and abilities that normally effect Powers from the Shadow Power Source.