Higher Vampire (3.5e Class)

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Making a Higher Vampire[edit]

The Higher Vampire is not like any normal vampire and has the capability to rule over other Undead including other regular Vampires. A Higher Vampires blood is incredibly potent but they require an active lifestyle or their power will degrade with time. Often times this has caused many Higher Vampires to be locked away deep into the earth by those that are unable to defeat or permanently kill them. When a Higher Vampire awakens or is freed from their long prison they are left a pale comparison of their former selves and require a great deal of time, experience and feeding to regain the power they once had. All this power however does come with a cost and it makes Higher Vampires especially vulnerable to fire.

Abilities: Charisma is one of the most important abilities for the Higher Vampire; it boosts their ability to blend in with the cattle and prey, is the key stat for most of their important skills, and affects the DC's for their Vampire abilities and powers. Strength is also an incredibly important ability for the Higher Vampire as it increases their fighting capabilities as well as the ability to maintain grapples and feed. Since many Higher Vampires wear little or no armor, Dexterity is the next most important stat in that it applies to a great many of their predatory reliant skills making the Higher Vampire harder to hit in combat and increasing their ability to survive. Intelligence can be of some degree of importance due to the need to be skilled in many different ways. Lastly Wisdom can also be of importance as it increases the Higher Vampires Willpower against negative spells as well as can apply to some important key social and predatory skills.

Races: Usually Human or Elf

Gender: Any

Alignment: Any Non Good, Most Commonly Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil

Starting Gold: As Rogue

Starting Age: Simple

Table: The Higher Vampire

Hit Die: d12

Level Base Attack Bonus Saving Throws Special Vampiric Attribute Increases
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Vampirism, Vampire Path, Fire Vulnerability +2 STR / +2 CHA (Total Bonus: +2 STR / +2 CHA)
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Spider Climb, Unnatural Physique +2 DEX (Total Bonus: +2 STR / +2 DEX / +2 CHA)
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Gaseous Form +2 STR (Total Bonus: +4 STR / +2 DEX / +2 CHA)
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Unholy Toughness +2 DEX / +2 CHA (Total Bonus: +4 STR / +4 DEX / +4 CHA)
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Vampiric Resilience, Bonus Feat +2 STR / +2 INT / +2 WIS (Total Bonus: +6 STR / +4 DEX / +2 INT / +2 WIS / +4 CHA)
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Alternate Form, Dominate No Attribute Increase (Total Bonus: +6 STR / +4 DEX / +2 INT / +2 WIS / +4 CHA)
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Children of the Night No Attribute Increase (Total Bonus: +6 STR / +4 DEX / +2 INT / +2 WIS / +4 CHA)
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Energy Drain, Create Spawn No Attribute Increase (Total Bonus: +6 STR / +4 DEX / +2 INT / +2 WIS / +4 CHA)
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Predatory Senses No Attribute Increase (Total Bonus: +6 STR / +4 DEX / +2 INT / +2 WIS / +4 CHA)
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Lord of the Dead, Bonus Feat +2 STR / +2 CHA (Total Bonus: +8 STR / +4 DEX / +2 INT / +2 WIS / +6 CHA)
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Vampiric Link No Attribute Increase (Total Bonus: +8 STR / +4 DEX / +2 INT / +2 WIS / +6 CHA)
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Shadow Step +2 DEX (Total Bonus: +8 STR / +6 DEX / +2 INT / +2 WIS / +6 CHA)
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 No Attribute Increase (Total Bonus: +8 STR / +6 DEX / +2 INT / +2 WIS / +6 CHA)
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Vampiric Flight +2 INT (Total Bonus: +8 STR / +6 DEX / +4 INT / +2 WIS / +6 CHA)
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Bonus Feat +2 WIS (Total Bonus: +8 STR / +6 DEX / +4 INT / +4 WIS / +6 CHA)
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Vision of Terror No Attribute Increase (Total Bonus: +8 STR / +6 DEX / +4 INT / +4 WIS / +6 CHA)
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 No Attribute Increase (Total Bonus: +8 STR / +6 DEX / +4 INT / +4 WIS / +6 CHA)
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Weather Control No Attribute Increase (Total Bonus: +8 STR / +6 DEX / +4 INT / +4 WIS / +6 CHA)
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 No Attribute Increase (Total Bonus: +8 STR / +6 DEX / +4 INT / +4 WIS / +6 CHA)
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Elder Vampire, Bonus Feat No Attribute Increase (Total Bonus: +8 STR / +6 DEX / +4 INT / +4 WIS / +6 CHA)

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (All) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex)

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Higher Vampire.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Higher Vampire is proficient with all simple weapons, light and medium armor and two martial weapons of their choice.

Vampirism (Ex): At first level the character becomes undead and gains the vampire template. Since this class aims to make vampires playable the higher vampire character doesn't gain any of its templates listed bonuses other then what is listed specifically inside the class (Including damage reduction and similar things.) but, the higher vampire gains all of the weaknesses being a vampire gives. The Higher Vampire at 1st level starts with only a +2 bonus to Strength and Charisma. The attribute bonuses the Higher Vampire receives as they level are shown on the table above to the far right side. The Higher Vampire gains 60 Feet dark-vision and the Higher Vampire's nails harden and can be used as 1d4 damage natural attacks and they may now also use the blood drain ability as listed from the Vampire template to heal themselves or gain temporary hit points. At level 2 the Higher Vampire gains half the vampire templates racial skill bonuses and at level 5 they gain the full listed skill bonuses as per the vampire template. Lastly the Higher Vampire gains a +4 to Turn Resistance and Cold and Electricity resistance 10.

Vampire Path (Ex): A Higher Vampire must choose between the Courtier Path or the Tyrant Path in which they wish to devote their focus upon. The Courtier Path increases the skill points received per level to that of a rogue and also gains more persuasive manners in which to bend others to their will which details can be found under the Dominate ability at 6th level. The Courtier Path is also not negatively effected by running water and can move over it freely without worry or issue. The Tyrant Path gains full base attack bonus and at level 2 they gain the ability to perform a 1d8 slam attack and the Higher Vampire can treat their Higher Vampire class levels as fighter levels for purposes of selecting feats.

Fire Vulnerability (Ex): A Higher Vampire pays a greater price for its greater power compared to regular vampires and is keenly susceptible to fire. The Higher Vampire takes an additional 1.5x the damage from any fire based damage source and any fire damage received will never be healed through fast healing and requires rest or the healing through the drinking of blood. Unfortunately this curse is so severe that the Higher Vampire can never gain full immunity to fire damage even through the use of magic or due to racial immunities and treats any fire immunity gained as fire resistance instead. Any enemies wielding fire magic or weapons of any kind the Higher Vampire must pass a will save of DC20 or suffers the negative effects of being Shaken until the end of the scene or having left the area in which any new encounters require a new will save to be passed.

Spider Climb (Ex): At 2nd level, a Higher Vampire can climb sheer surfaces as though with a spider climb spell.

Unnatural Physique (Ex): A Higher Vampire's blood grows stronger and enhances their physical form even more. The Higher Vampire gains a +10 feet bonus to movement speed and +3 Natural Armor that stacks with any previous natural armor the character might have. Every 4 levels the movement speed bonus increases by an additional +10 feet movement. At 5th level the Higher Vampire gains an additional +3 Natural armor bringing the total to +6.

Gaseous Form (Su): At 3rd level as a standard action, a Higher Vampire can assume gaseous form at will, as the spell cast by a 5th-level sorcerer, but can remain gaseous indefinitely and has a fly speed of 20 feet with perfect maneuverability.

At 3rd level if reduced to 0 hit points or lower, a Higher Vampire automatically assumes gaseous form and attempts to escape. It must reach its coffin home within 2 hours or be utterly destroyed. (It can travel up to nine miles in 2 hours.) Once at rest in its coffin, it rises to 1 hit point after 1 hour, then resumes healing at normal rate. A Higher Vampire can have many places of rest prepared, since the only requirement is some soil from its homeland (the place where the Higher Vampire was born). This portion of the ability is treated as Extraordinary.

Unholy Toughness (Ex): At 4th level, a Higher Vampire gains the Unholy Toughness quality from the Monster Manual 3. The Higher Vampire now uses their Charisma modifier for determining bonus HP per Hit die and this applies retroactively.

Vampiric Resilience (Ex): At 5th level, a Higher Vampire gains damage reduction equal to his Higher Vampire level and fast healing 5. This damage reduction can only be penetrated by weapons made from silver and have a magical enchantment on them. At 12th Level the fast healing bonus increases to a total of 10 and at 20th level, the damage reduction protection becomes impenetrable.

Bonus Feat (Ex): At 5th level, a Higher Vampire gains all the feats listed under the Vampire Template. At level 10 and every 5 levels afterwards the Higher Vampire gains an additional bonus feat but they must meet the requirements to take them.

Alternate Form (Su): At 6th level the Higher Vampire can assume the shape of a bat, dire bat, wolf, or dire wolf as a standard action. This ability is similar to a polymorph self spell cast by a 12th-level sorcerer, except that Higher Vampire can assume only one of the forms listed here. It can remain in that form until it assumes another or until the next sunrise.

At 20th level A Higher Vampire can assume the form of any animal, as the druid ability wild shape used by a 12th-level druid. The Higher Vampire can use this power at will as a move-equivalent action. The Higher Vampire can change from one animal shape to another without having to revert to its humanoid form.

Dominate (Su): At 6th level a Higher Vampire can crush an opponent's will just by looking into their eyes. This is similar to a gaze attack, except that the vampire must take a standard action, and those merely looking at it are not affected. If he wants, a Higher Vampire can do this either by gaze or voice. It does not require line of sight to the target, but the target must be able to hear the Higher Vampire's voice when it speaks at a normal volume level. Anyone the vampire targets must succeed at a Will save or fall instantly under the Higher Vampire's influence as though by a dominate person spell cast by a sorcerer whose level is equal to Higher Vampire's level. The ability has a range of 30 feet. This ability can only be used once per day. At eighth level Higher Vampire can use this ability at will. A Higher Vampire following the Courtier Path can also choose to use the Suggestion or Charm Person spell in place of Dominate.

Children of the Night (Su): Higher Vampire's command the lesser creatures of the world. Starting at 7th level, A Higher Vampire can call forth a rat swarm, a bat swarm, or 1d3 wolves as a standard action once per day. The creature or creatures arrive in 2d6 rounds and serve the vampire for up to 1 hour.

At 7th level, the Higher Vampire can call forth 1d6+1 rat swarms, 1d4+1 bat swarms, or a pack of 3d6 wolves.

At 11th level, the creatures summoned forth serve the Higher Vampire until released. Further, the Higher Vampire can sense through the senses of any such commanded creatures, and communicate empathically with them, to a range of 10 miles. (He can only have one summon active)

Energy Drain (Su): At 8th level, the Higher Vampire's slam attack (or other natural attack) bestows 2 negative levels. This ability can only be used once per round of combat so multiple natural attacks will not benefit from utilizing this ability.

Create Spawn (Su): At 8th level a humanoid or monstrous humanoid slain by a Higher Vampire's energy drain attack rises as a vampire spawn 1d4 days after burial. If the Higher Vampire instead drains the victim's Constitution to 0 or less, the victim returns as a spawn if it had 4 or fewer HD and as a vampire if it had 5 or more HD. In either case, the new vampire or spawn is under the command of the vampire that created it and remains enslaved until its master's death. At any given time Higher Vampire may have enslaved spawn totaling no more than twice its own Hit Dice; any spawn it creates that would exceed this limit are created as free-willed vampires or vampire spawn. A vampire that is enslaved may create and enslave spawn of its own, so a Higher Vampire can control a number of lesser vampires in this fashion. A Higher Vampire may voluntarily free an enslaved spawn in order to enslave a new spawn, but once freed, a vampire or vampire spawn cannot be enslaved again.

Predatory Senses (Ex): At 9th level a Higher Vampire's senses sharpen allowing them to more easily hunt their prey. The Higher Vampire gains Scent and their Dark-vision increases by 60ft.

Lord of the Dead (Su): At 10th level a Higher Vampire is unquestionably superior than a normal undead and gain an additional +4 Turn Resistance. Any undead creature must make a Will save (DC 10 + half the Higher Vampire's level + his Charisma modifier) in order to attack the Higher Vampire in any way. If this save fails, the undead creature cannot take any aggressive action against the Higher Vampire for 24 hours. If the undead creature succeeds in this save, it can act normally for 24 hours. After this time, it must save again. While under the effects of this ability, an undead creature cannot take any direct action against the Higher Vampire, but it could order its minions to attack, cast spells to boost its allies who can attack the Higher Vampire, and so on. Undead creatures that lack Intelligence scores automatically fail this save unless another creature controls them, such as a cleric who channels negative energy. In this case, the creature that controls the unintelligent undead makes a save on its behalf. If the Higher Vampire harms the undead that failed his save he is no longer subjected to Lord Of The Dead for 24 hours.

Vampiric Link (Ex): At 11th level a Higher Vampire's control over his spawn strengthens. A Higher Vampire can now telepathically send messages and orders to his spawn with no range limit and his spawn is constantly under the effect of detect thoughts they do not get save against this effect. This effect does not cross planes. This ability also works with any mortals the Higher Vampire has ever fed at least 1 constitution point worth of blood from at any point in the past. However the link can be broken by the mortal with the use of holy water.

Shadow Step (Su): At 12th level a Higher Vampire can cast dimension door as a sorcerer 3/day. (Caster level is equal to the Higher Vampires character level)

Vampiric Flight (Ex): At 14th level a Higher Vampire can grow bat wings at will that take a full round action to activate that can trigger attacks of opportunity. The Vampire gains flight speed equal to twice his movement speed with average maneuverability.

Vision of Terror (Ex): At 16th Level a Higher Vampire's mastery over life force grants them a frightening aura (Will DC 10 + Higher Vampire's Class Level + Cha modifier). Anyone within 30 feet who sees them must make a Will save or be Frightened for 1 minute/10 rounds. If the creature succeeds in this save they are immune to this for 24 hours. This ability can be suppressed as a free action.

Weather Control (Su): At 18th level a Higher Vampire can cast either control weather or fog cloud as a sorcerer. (Caster level is equal to his class level)

Elder Vampire (Ex): At 20th Level a Higher Vampire's curse has granted them such exceptional power that mortals could only dream of possessing such. The Higher Vampire's fast healing is doubled as well as any ability score increases they got from being a vampire as well. The Higher Vampire also gains Improved Evasion and their turn resistance, elemental resistances and dark-vision ranges are doubled as well.

Ex-Higher Vampire's[edit]

If a Higher Vampire is ever cured of their Vampiric Curse by some extreme measure, they may replace all class levels of Higher Vampire with another class of their choice that is often fitting for the role the played in life.

Higher Vampire Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge Religion can research The Higher Vampire to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge Religion
DC Result
20 Stories and tales or vague legends of vampires that hold power that is almost unbelievable.
25 Higher Vampires exist and are incredibly dangerous and hard to kill however they are especially vulnerable to fire.
30 Higher Vampires can exert will over other undead
35 Higher Vampires if left unchecked can gather a great deal of personal wealth and power and negatively effect or have a serious impact upon entire regions of the world.

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