Vampire (5e Race)

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Vampire

Every time I die, this is the vision that greets my eyes. And every time I think, 'How lovely that sunlight which I forsook so many centuries ago...' —Alucard


Vampirism: It is essential to recognize that vampirism isn't lycanthropy, that vampirism isn't a curse, disease or condition. When you fall prey to a vampire, or when a vampire gets you... you die. That isn't to say you die and come back as a vampire spawn but you die. A vampire, spawn or not isn't a living creature. It's undeath and evil manifest. A creature of inversed good and paradox, a thing of white and black mixed in unholy conjunction. It is dead, yet seeks life. It kills, but occasionally plants the seed for more of its kind to be... not born but formed. When a vampire comes into being they don't behave like the people they were in life. They are inverted, the chaste becoming temptresses, the kind becoming cruel, the once holy now finding glory in perversion. All their once positive qualities are specifically inverted to form a more personalized evil.

One shouldn't consider vampirism to be an "effect" on a player. When a player character becomes one, they are dead. They are gone. An evil with their appearance arises from their corpse - an evil with their memories not because it is them, but because it uses who the person used to be as a guide to shape itself. Vampires are inhuman, merciless, and uncaring about their earlier life or only caring enough to know how it can use its previous existence to create its preferred style of pain, death, and perversion.

While vampirism is an excellent opportunity to explore a different avenue for roleplay and experience something that even veteran players seldom get to it try. It is important to keep in mind that few have the stomach for it and fewer the capability. As such, a Dungeon Master should take special care when allowing such an unconventional avenue to become available for players and should endeavor to start the player(s) off as a vampire spawn and consider the transformation into a true vampire as a another form of reward for a player that seeks out true vampirism.

Physical Description

Tall, pale and gaunt humanoids, their otherworldly presence and stillness make a vampire stand out among the warm bodied living. With sharp dark facial features, red eyes that seem to glow in the absence of light and cold bodies that cast no reflection, vampires are as solitary as they come.

Vampires are pale due to their undead nature and avoidance of the sun. While their stillness comes from the fact that they no longer need to draw breath, making every action and inaction a conscious decision on their part. When forced into a corner, their sharp retractable fangs and claws become a declaration of warning to all creatures that bleed as any eloquence in their humanoid guise disappears, replaced with a primal bloodlust as they cut down the living like a plague.

A Deal Or A Curse

Undead are not born, and vampires are no exception to this. When a creature dies and rises as a vampire or vampire spawn their race becomes this one, losing their previous traits, ability score increases, etc. Only retaining parts of their physical appearance as their personality is warped into a mockery of their former self. Vampires are usually the result of a dark pact and while the mortal may not make the deal with the goal of becoming a vampire in mind the dark powers they've negotiated with cares little and only seeks to sow as much evil and strife within the world as a result of such a deal. Powerful beings of evil such as malevolent gods are also capable of afflicting a mortal with vampirism.

It is a common misconception that being bitten by a vampire can turn you into one. When in practice it only, kills you, warping your body and mind into a creature of evil, a vampire spawn and as such a slave to the true vampire that killed you. It is only by drinking the blood of the vampire that turned you can a vampire spawn then become a vampires. Though, few vampires are willing to relinquish their control in this manner.

Dark Desire

Whether or not a vampire retains any memories from its former life, its emotional attachments wither as once-pure feelings become twisted by undeath. Love turns into hungry obsession, while friendship becomes bitter jealousy. In place of emotion, vampires pursue physical symbols of what they crave, so that a vampire seeking love might fixate on a young beauty. A child might become an object of fascination for a vampire obsessed with youth and potential. Others surround themselves with art, books, or sinister items such as torture devices or trophies from creatures they have killed.

Coffinic Structure

All vampires are bound to a coffinic structure, normally some form of large container that usually takes the form of a sarcophagus, casket, or coffin. It is here that a vampire rests and reforms when they're defeated. They are usually hidden away in areas that are difficult to access by non-vampires and are heavily protected by minions, traps, and thralls. A coffinic structure is made from the wood of your original coffin, or the stone of your original tombstone in some cases. The structure is large enough to encase your body in and must have an opening to allow mist to enter and exit. If a vampire didn't receive a formal burial, it must lie beneath a foot of earth at the place of its transition to undeath. A vampire can move its place of burial by transporting its coffinic structure or a significant amount of grave dirt to another location. Some vampires set up multiple resting places this way.

With your Dungeon Master's discretion, the area in which your coffinic structure rests for 2d6 days can be considered your lair, manifesting the following regional effects as it is warped by your unnatural presence:

  • There's a noticeable increase in the populations of bats, rats, and wolves in the region.
  • Plants within 500 feet of the lair wither, and their stems and branches become twisted and thorny.
  • Shadows cast within 500 feet of the lair seem abnormally gaunt and sometimes move as though alive.
  • A creeping fog clings to the ground within 500 feet of the vampire's lair. The fog occasionally takes eerie forms, such as grasping claws and writhing serpents.

If you are destroyed, or you move your coffinic structure to elsewhere these effects end after 2d6 days.

Vampire Weaknesses

Although vampires can be incredibly strong, their curse still comes with several notable drawbacks. Regardless of if you are a vampire spawn or true vampire, you are affected by the following weakness unless specified otherwise:

  • Forbiddance: You can't enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
  • Running Water: Your flesh is torn apart in the presence of water, you take 20 acid damage when you end your turn in running water. This damage may not be reduced in any way.
  • Stake to the Heart: If a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into your heart while incapacitated in your coffinic structure, you become paralyzed until the stake is removed if you are a vampire. However, if you are a vampire spawn, you are instead destroyed.
  • Sunlight Hypersensitivity: You burn in the sun and usually become nocturnal as a result. You need to find some way to shield yourselves from sunlight out of necessity. If you start your turn in direct sunlight, you take 20 radiant damage. You also have disadvantage on any attack rolls and ability checks when in direct sunlight.

Vampire Names

Vampires usually retain the names of their mortal lives. However, long-lived vampires who have obtained grand estates may take on titles of nobility such as Count, Countess, Duke, or Duchess.

Notable Vampires: Count Dracula, Strahd von Zarovich, Alucard, Count von Count.

Vampire Spawn Traits

Most of a vampire's victims become vampire spawn- ravenous creatures with a vampire's hunger for blood, but under the control of the vampire that created them. If a true vampire allows a spawn to draw blood from its own body, the spawn transforms into a true vampire no longer under its master's control. Few vampires are willing to relinquish their control in this manner. Vampire spawn become free-willed when their creator dies but may seek to become true vampires via drinking from another true vampire or making a pact with some otherworldly entity.

Inhuman, merciless, and uncaring about their earlier life. Vampires are undeath and evil manifest of inversed good and paradox.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength, Dexterity and Constitution scores each increase by 1.
Age. Vampires are immortal and can be any age. Vampires retain the physical appearance of the age at which they were turned at during their mortal life. They also retain the psychological development associated with that age, therefore vampires who did not reach adulthood in their mortal life may still have the impulses of an adolescent in their vampiric life.
Alignment. Young vampires may keep the lawful, neutral or chaotic alignment they had in life, however, older vampires always lean towards lawfulness, usually following a code of their own design that they've developed over the centuries to ensure their survival. The vast majority of vampires are lawful evil, and none but the greenies attempt to maintain their inner humanity and remain even a neutral, let along a good one.
Size. Vampires can range in height and weight like most humanoids would, though they are normally lighter then they appear to be while looming over others. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Undead. Your creature type is considered to be both humanoid and undead.
Unholy Body. Dark magic sustains you, making you resistant to necrotic damage. Healing potions do not have a healing effect on you. Instead, they deal poison damage equal to the amount that was meant to heal. To heal you must either drink blood, spend hit dice, or finish a long rest.
Blood Drinker. Even though you are undead, you still require sustenance in the form of blood to sustain your unholy existence. You are immune to diseases. You do not need to eat or breathe, but you can ingest food and drink if you wish, though this food is always bland and stale to you. If you go for longer then seven days without drinking at least one ration of blood, you suffer one level of exhaustion on the midnight of that day, which can only be removed by drinking a ration of blood. After consuming one ration of blood, you recover all levels of exhaustion. If you reach six levels of exhaustion due to this trait, you are destroyed.

A ration of blood is a vial[1], roughly 4 ounces[2] and while that is just enough to sustain you each week, you still feel the urge to drink and may still appear twitchy or ravenous in the heat of battle or when treating an allies wound. A pint, such as that contained within a flask[3] is considered a healthy amount, enough to keep you sustained while also suppressing your less civilized behavior.
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. All vampires have sharpened teeth capable of tearing flesh from bone and draining blood from body. If a willing, paralyzed, charmed, incapacitated, restrained, or grappled, creature within 5 feet of you has blood, you may use your bonus action to Bite them dealing 1d6 piercing damage and drink their blood dealing additional necrotic damage equal to your Constitution modifier. Drinking blood this way is equal to consuming a ration as per your Blood Drinker trait. When you use your Bite, you can choose to not deal damage.
Claws. As a vampire you have a set of claws, your claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength or Dexterity modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Spawn. You are a vampire spawn and as such your will is circumvented by that of your true vampire master. There is little you can do in the way of resisting your master and can't take actions to harm them, however, you can pervert the intent of their commands by exploiting their poor wording. The knowing perversion of such a command though will often lead to your destruction if their master believes it to be so. Any attempt to go against you masters will or pervert their command requires you to make a DC17 Charisma saving throw at disadvantage.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, as well as one other language of your choice, that you knew in life.

Vampire Traits

Whether you drank the blood of a true vampire as a vampire spawn or made a pact with a dark power, you have become a true vampire, gaining the following traits in addition to your vampire spawn traits, with the exception of your Spawn trait.

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Blood Connoisseur. As per your Blood Drinker trait, if you reach six levels of exhaustion due to this trait, instead of suffering death, no longer gain any more levels of exhaustion and become indefinitely paralyzed. The only way to remove this paralyze is to be exposed to a rations worth of blood.
Superior Darkvision. Your darkvision increases to 120 feet.
True Vampire. You gain a coffinic structure. In addition, you can now take vampire feats and you gain one of these feats of your choice.
Vampire Fangs & Talons. Your teeth might as well have been that of a child's before. The damage for your Bite increases by 1d6 when you reach 5th level (2d6), 11th level (3d6), and 17th level (4d6). In addition, your claws lengthen and the damage for your Claws trait increases to 1d6.
Misty Escape. When you drop to 0 hit points outside of your coffinic structure, you transform into a cloud of mist instead of falling unconscious, provided you are not in an area of sunlight or running water. If you can't transform, you are destroyed.

While in mist form, you can't take any actions, speak, or manipulate objects. You are weightless, have a flying speed of 20 feet, can hover, and can enter a hostile creature's space and stop there. In addition, if air can pass through a space, the mist can do so without squeezing, and it can't pass through water. It has advantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws, and it is resistant to all nonmagical damage, except the damage it takes from sunlight.

While you have 0 hit points in mist form, you can't revert to your vampire form. If you do not reach your coffinic structure within 2 hours, you are destroyed. Once in you coffinic structure, you revert to your vampire form. You are then paralyzed until you regain at least 1 hit point. After spending 1 hour in your coffinic structure with 0 hit points, you regain 1 hit point.

Random Height and Weight

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
5′ 5″ +2d6 60 lb. × (1d4) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

Vampire Feats

Vampires have some impressive abilities and it is only the truly ancient and powerful vampires that can utilize them all. As a vampire you have access to the following list of feats and if you are using the optional feats rule, you can forgo taking Ability Score Improvement feature to take a vampire feat of your choice instead.

Feat: Superior Body

You can use your vampiric reflexes to dodge attacks and move with an unearthly grace and ease, gaining the following benefits:

  • You can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
  • While you are wearing no armor, your Armor Class equals 12 + your Dexterity modifier.
  • Your base movement speed increases by 5 feet.

Feat: Shapechanger

Vampires are known for their ability to shift from form to form. You gain the shapechanger tag and if you are not in sunlight or running water, you can use your action to polymorph into a Tiny bat[4] or a Medium cloud of mist for 1 minute, or back into your true form.

  • Bat Form: While in bat form you can't speak, your walking speed is 5 feet, and you have a flying speed of 30 feet. Your statistics, other than your size and speed, are unchanged. Anything you are wearing transforms with you, but nothing you are carrying does. You revert to your true form if you die.
  • Mist Form: While in mist form, you can't take any actions, speak, or manipulate objects. You are weightless and have a flying speed of 20 feet, can hover, and can enter a hostile creature's space and stop there. In addition, if air can pass through a space, the mist can do so without squeezing, and it can't pass through water. You have advantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws, and are instead immune to all nonmagical damage, except the damage you take from sunlight.

Once you transform this way you cannot do so again until you complete a short or long rest.

Feat: Animating Bite

You can suffuse your unholy lifeforce into creatures you drain. When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points you can choose to animate it, causing it to rise at the next midnight as a zombie under your control. This zombie can take simple commands from you and you may have a number of zombies equal to your proficiency bonus under your control through this method at a time. If you already have your maximum number of zombie under your control other corpses which rise due to your bite are not under your control are hostile towards you and others.

At 18th level, your bite may raise vampire spawns instead of zombie. You may have up to one vampire spawn under your control through this method at any time.

Feat: Children of the Night

As an action, you may magically call 1d4 swarms of bats[5] or rats[6], provided the sun isn't up. While outdoors, you can call 1d6 wolves[7] instead. The called creatures arrive in 1d4 rounds, acting as your allies and obeying your spoken commands. The beasts remain for 1 hour, and can be dismissed as a bonus action. You may not call on more than one swarm at any time.

Feat: Unnatural Charm

As an action, you can target one humanoid you can see within 30 feet. If the target can see you, it must succeed a Wisdom saving throw, or be charmed. The DC for the save is equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier. The charmed target regards you as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected. Although the target isn't under your direct control, it takes your requests or actions in the most favorable way it can, and it is a willing target for your Vampire Bite.

Each time you or one of your companions do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts for 24 hours, until you are destroyed, until you on a different plane of existence than the target, or if you take a bonus action to end the effect. You can only have one creature charmed this way at once and you can use this trait a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier before you must complete a long rest before using it again.

Enhanced Vampirism Table

A true vampire with the Ring of Dracula and any of the vampires feats, benefits from this table.

Feat Enhanced Effect
Superior Body If your Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution scores are less then 18, they become 18.
Shapechanger You can maintain your other forms indefinitely and gain the Humanoid form.
  • Humanoid Form: You can use your action to polymorph into a Small or Medium humanoid you have seen, or back into your true form. Your statistics, other than your size, are the same in each form. Any equipment you are wearing or carrying isn't transformed and you revert to your true form if you die. While in this form you can use your Bite and Claws attacks.
Animating Bite You may have a number of zombies under your control equal to double your proficiency bonus and you can now control 2 vampire spawn.
Children of the Night The amount of swarms of bats or rats you can summon becomes 2d4 and the amount of wolves you can summon becomes 3d6. The creatures instead arrive at the start of your next turn.
Unatural Charm You can have a number of creatures charmed this way equal to your Charisma modifier and creatures charmed this way have no recollection of their time charmed.

Vampire Campaign Items

Vampires have some special needs when it comes to their wellbeing. The following list of items helps keep them alive and enhances their vampiric abilities. Whether or not some of these items can be purchased or even found in the world is up to the Dungeon Master.

Cloak of the Underdark

Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)

This exotic garment of drow design is made of black silk interwoven with faint silver threads. While wearing this cloak, you can pull its hood over your head to cause yourself to become immune to the effects of sunlight. The cloak allows for no sunlight to pass through.

Cloak of Hiding

Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement)

This elegant garment is made of dark silks interwoven with faint amber threads. While wearing this cloak, you can pull its hood over your head, totally concealing your face. Attempts to look into your hood only reveal darkness. In addition, while your hood is up, you are hidden from divination magic and you can't be targeted by such magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.

Ring of Muted Light

Ring, rare (requires attunement)

This simple, monocolored ring that never seems to be shine is an ideal gift for your vampire lord. While wearing this ring, you can dim the light within a 15-foot cube around you. You can make sunlight normal light, bright light dim light, dim light darkness, and darkness magical darkness. You cannot make the light level brighter, only darker and nonmagical light can’t illuminate this area.

Vampire Sunglasses

Wondrous item, rare

These crimson tinted sunglass, allow those to look into the light with an issue. You are immune to the effects of sunlight. In addition, you have advantage on saving throws against being blinded and any effect that relies on eye contact, such as a medusa's Petrifying Gaze or a umber hulk's Confusing Gaze.

If a vampire also has the Unnatural Charm feat, it cannot be used while these are worn.

Ring of Misty Shadows

Ring, very rare (requires attunement by a true vampire)

While wearing this ring, when you drop to 0 hit points in direct sunlight, the area you occupy while you move is considered to be magical darkness as if the spell darkness was cast at 5th level. The darkness lasts for 2 hours and once used this ring cannot be used again until the next midnight.

Crypt Ring

Ring, very rare (requires attunement by a true vampire)

A ring with a small compartment in its silver head, containing a small part of your coffinic structure such as a piece of stonework, a chunk of wood, and compressed dirt. While worn with a part of your coffinic structure is placed here, this ring teleports you back to your coffinic structure when you are reduced to 0 hit points unharmed. Once used this ring cannot be used again until the next midnight.

Ring of Dracula

Ring, artifact (requires attunement by a true vampire)

This magnificent ring was said to have been worn by the famed Dracula himself and in the eons he wore it, it took on magical properties as it was warped by his powerful unnatural presence. The ring is covered in a layer of gold, its black obsidian material becoming evident in the engravings that adorn it. At its crown, sits a crimson gem that radiates status and nobility. While wearing this ring you gain the following benefits:

  • You no longer possess any of the weakness a vampires has and are immune to the effects of sunlight.
  • You always reach your coffinic structure within 2 hours and regain all lost hit points once you've rested there for an hour.
  • You can go for a month without needing to consume blood.
Random Properties.

The Ring of Dracula has the following random properties:

  • 1 minor beneficial properties
  • 1 major beneficial property
  • 1 minor detrimental property
  • 1 major detrimental properties
Dracula

Your natural vampirism is elevated to the peak of its power as it is suffused with the legendary strength of the Dracula. In addition, to the benefits granted by your vampire spawn and true vampire traits, with the exception of the vampire spawn's Spawn trait, you gain the following benefits:

  • Enhanced Fangs. Your Bite now reduces the hit point maximum of the creature by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and you regain hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. A humanoid slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under your control.
  • Enhanced Talons. Your Claws now deal 1d8 slashing damage and on a successful attack, you can grapple the creature as a bonus action.
  • Vampuric Resistance. You are resistant to non-magical bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage.
  • Unnatural Regeneration. You gain 10 temporary hit points at the start of your turn if you have at least 1 hit point.
  • Enhanced Vampirism. All vampires feats you possess are enhanced, as seen in the Enhanced Vampirism Table.
Legendary Actions

You can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. You regain spent legendary actions at the start of your turn.

  • Move. You move up to your speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
  • Unarmed Strike. You make one unarmed strike with your Claws.
  • Bite (Costs 2 Actions). You make one Bite attack.
Legendary Resistance

While you may not be of legendary status like the great Dracula, his ring elevates you to such a position. If you fail a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead. You can use this three times before the next dawn.

Curse

Once attuned to the Ring of Dracula you cannot unattune to it and the only way to remove it from your person is to destroy you.

Destroying the Ring of Dracula

The Ring of Dracula is indestructible like most artifacts, however, it can be destroyed by being swallowed by a good-aligned solar or some of the other more powerful good entities of the upper planes.

References

  1. Players Handbook p.151
  2. Players Handbook p.154
  3. Players Handbook p.151/154
  4. Monster Manual p.318
  5. Monster Manual p.337
  6. Monster Manual p.339
  7. Monster Manual p.341

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