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Generic Vampire

Vampire$


Power Level: ,
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


“Nobody knew shit about vampires. Nobody lived long enough to learn…”


Overview

Though the Vatican has had teams of vampire hunters for four hundred years (and sketchy evidence of the existence of vampires for some time prior to that), information about vampires remains scarce. For the most part, this is due to the danger involved in hunting such creatures — most vampire hunters are killed within a year of beginning the profession. Jack Crow’s three-year stint as a vampire hunter was a record in that business, particularly given that he was at the head of the team and was destroying a group of vampires every two months on average.

What little information the Vatican does have comes from accounts of the hunters gathered after each encounter. Each hunter is placed in a hypnotic trance to maximize their recall and then asked to relive the encounter while relating their observations and feelings. The subsequent session is recorded and that recording is sent to the Vatican. Dedicated historians analyze the data looking for new insights into the creatures. Additional information has recently been provided by Davette Shands, the first known thrall to escape the vampires.

It should be noted that the final days of Team Crow provided a relative wealth of new information concerning the vampires. This is yet another demonstration of Team Crow’s unusual effectiveness — the vampires found themselves driven to extraordinary lengths trying to stop Crow and his team and these measures inadvertently exposed the vampires to a much greater degree than they had anticipated.

Thralls

Thralls are people who have been bitten by a master vampire, but not completely drained. Thus, they do not become vampires, but instead fall under the master’s sway. Their resistance to vampiric hypnotism is diminished (they will even do things that they would normally oppose doing) and they will remain loyal to the master that has bitten them even when he is not actively mesmerizing them.

The fate of thralls is almost inevitably death. Some are killed by their master, either by being drained completely and turned into a vampire or simply being murdered for their Master’s amusement. Others will be driven to suicide from guilt over their actions in service to their master ; the stronger-willed thralls may fight off their master’s dominion during the day and take their own lives and all other thralls have killed themselves when their master died.

The two known occasions where live thralls have been “saved” both involved Team Crow. Team Crow rescued some of the thralls of the masters in Cleburne. They had only been enthralled a short time, had not been forced to commit any of the degrading or evil acts traditionally inflicted upon thralls, and they had been excessively drained (Cleburne hosted three masters, the highest number ever heard of in a single place) so they were too weak to put up serious resistance to Team Crow or to hurt themselves.

The second occasion involved Davette Shands, the thrall sent to find Team Crow in the guise of a reporter. Davette has suffered the life of a thrall for some time, but had great reserves of mental strength and spent enough time away from her master to overcome the weakening effects of his bite, the hunt for Team Crow having kept her away from her master for a much longer time than any thrall would normally be allowed).

“Goons”

If a human being is completely drained by a master vampire (i.e. dies because of said vampire’s bite), he will appear dead in every way. The body will even begin to decompose and insects may lay eggs in the corpse like they would with any other dead animal. The only notable difference is that the body will burn with an unnaturally bright flame if set afire — beheading and then either burning the body or impaling the heart with a wooden stake are required to prevent the deceased from becoming a vampire.

After an indeterminate period of time (likely between a few days and a week — the specific details are unknown, as are any influences that might affect the elapsed time necessary for the change), the vampiric curse will take hold and the corpse will heal itself, rising as an atavistic vampire, commonly referred to by vampire hunters as goons.

Goons are the most numerous and weakest of the vampires, though quite formidable nevertheless. They enjoy enhanced strength and regenerative abilities (though they still have the rotting flesh of a corpse) but lack all of the other supernatural abilities of vampires and have vastly diminished intelligence as well. Goons operate on an instinctive level when they are not acting on the direct orders of a master, moving after prey at walking speed unless enraged (which they become after being injured) or hungry.

At some point a goon can become a full-fledged vampire. At minimum, the transformation from goon to vampire requires a few days; it is unknown if other specific acts must be undertaken or if it is simply a matter of time, though new vampires apparently have to remain near their leader at first.

Vampires

“Typical” vampires are goons that regained their original human intelligence. They appear fully healthy and alive, as well as possessing even greater physical power than goons, but they are not as puissant as master vampires. There are usually two or three of these creatures accompanying any particular master vampire. Most vampires have no life outside of serving their leader, so they will not have any independent wealth or social ties, relying on their master to provide everything.

Whether or not a vampire’s master has to have any specific connection to his charges or if he compels obedience by simple virtue of being the most powerful vampire in the group is unknown.

Masters

Masters are vampires that have fully developed their vampiric abilities. The time that this takes is unknown, but cannot be terribly long; the master vampire Ross had only been a vampire a few years at most and Jack Crow reached that level in a matter of weeks (likely aided by his already-considerable knowledge of the abilities of vampires).

In addition to the incredible strength and endurance of common vampires, masters also have superhuman speed and can mesmerize their victims. As a side effect of their hypnotic abilities, masters seem uncommonly physically attractive. It seems likely that masters are also the only vampires that can actually spread the vampiric curse through their bite, though this is not certain.

Greater masters are simply masters who have lived long enough to acquire a great deal of influence and wealth. Greater masters usually associate with a number of lesser masters whom they dominate, but whether this dominance is related to their vampiric abilities or simply reflects their greater strength of presence and social status is unknown.

Vampires have a society only in the loosest of terms. Vampire hunter teams usually hear of vampires when a master takes up residence in an isolated area and begins seizing people as opportunity permits — vagrants, people alone in the wilderness and so on.

By the time a vampire hunter team gets the word and moves in, a week or two has usually passed and the vampire nest usually has the original master, several vampires (often between five and ten), and numerous goons (the third largest group Jack Crow ever encountered numbered 24 in total). Where the vampires are and what they do is largely unknown outside of these binges.

Some masters such as Ross are subtler and thus able to interact with mainstream society without being detected, so much so that the Vatican’s vampire hunters were apparently unaware of vampires living within mainstream society at all. Ross had little if any other subordinate vampires associated with him normally, though he had plenty of thralls. Ross was able to quickly create plenty of new vampires when setting up the ambushes for Team Crow, however.

Greater masters may even be well situated enough to carry on a normal human existence in a highly populated area such as a metropolitan city. The Dallas billionaire Simon Kennedy was the first such master ever known to exist. Like Ross, he had many thralls and only one or two lesser vampires directly associated with him, though he was quite comfortable giving marching orders to lesser masters such as Ross.

Beyond these loose social interactions, vampires seem to have no association with one another, unlike other depictions of vampiric societies with elaborate clan relationships. Davette Shands only saw a vampire other than her master Ross once, when Kennedy came over and basically told Ross to either kill Team Crow or be killed by Kennedy himself. In a sense, they seem to operate like feudal lords, associating only to the extent of making sure their territorial boundaries are respected and occasionally allying against common threats.

When vampires are injured, they do not bleed red but instead leak a clear ichor. Certain injuries, such as those caused by silver, never heal completely, leaving a small sore that oozes constantly. When a vampire is enraged, the whites of its eyes will turn blood red, its canine teeth will enlarge and its mouth will engorge slightly, dripping dark-red, almost black, gory saliva.



Goon

“RRrrr…”

Dex: 02 Str: 06 Bod: 05 Motivation: Motivation Title
Int: 01 Wil: 03 Min: 02 Occupation: Servitors
Inf: 01 Aur: 01 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 004 HP: 010

Powers: Claws: 07, Regeneration: 15

Bonuses and Limitations: Regeneration allows healing even after death, unless the goon was killed by sunlight or while impaled through the chest by a wooden stake or spear (+4FC).

Vampiric drawbacks:

  • Religious Icons — Vampires treat religious icons as having Aura of Fear equal to the SPIRIT of the wielder (minimum of 4 APs, even if no one is holding the icon in question).
  • Blessed/Sacred Touch — Someone with at least Medium-level Credentials in a religious group can attack vampires as if the church member had Flame Being at 06 APs (10 if they have High-level Credentials). This mystic flame will manifest as a blast of white light like an acetylene torch’s wherever the church member touches the vampire. This attack also benefits from the vulnerability to flame discussed below.
  • Vulnerability to Holy Ground — when a vampire enters holy ground, he must roll a test with WILL as AV/EV versus an OV/RV based on the significance of the holy site; a small church might only be 4/4, while the Vatican would be 12/12. Failure means that the vampire is effectively Stunned that round. Once the vampire passes a test, it no longer has to continue testing to avoid being stunned.
    Regardless of any test results, vampires always suffer a CS penalty to the OV of all actions equal to the AV/OV of the test divided by 4. For example, a vampire on the grounds of the Vatican would always act at a +3CS to the OV of all actions.

    Vampires whose Current BODY is reduced to 0 by any of the following means dies instantly, turning to ash :
  • Attack Vulnerability to silver — taking any RAPs from a silver weapon automatically stuns the vampire (even if the RAPs are subsequently removed by LDD) and RAPs from a silver weapon that are not LDDed must then be healed at a normal rate instead of using Regeneration (also, the wound never completely heals, though it will slow down to a light ooze once all RAPs have been healed).
  • Partial Attack Vulnerability to fire — -2CS to RV.
  • Fatal Vulnerability to impalement by wooden objects — any vampire impaled through the chest with a wooden stake or spear takes 1 RAP of damage per turn automatically; this damage cannot be removed with LDD or healed with Regeneration (it can be healed normally if the vampire survives and removes the stake, and the RAPs from the initial impact can be LDDed).
  • Fatal Vulnerability to sunlight — every turn a vampire is in sunlight they have Flame Being: 8, which attacks them as well as anyone touching them; this damage cannot be removed with LDD or healed with Regeneration (it can be healed normally if the vampire survives and escapes the sunlight).

Drawbacks: CIAs (Serve the Master & Consume Blood, the former taking priority), Strange Appearance (Rotting Corpse)


Typical Vampire

Dex: 05 Str: 08 Bod: 06 Motivation: Motivation Title
Int: 02 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Servitor
Inf: 02 Aur: 03 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 009 HP: 020

Powers: Claws: 09, Regeneration: 15

Bonuses and Limitations: Regeneration allows healing even after death, unless the vampire was killed by sunlight, by being impaled through the heart by a wooden stake, or by being beheaded and burned (+4FC)

Vampiric drawbacks:

  • Religious Icons — Vampires treat religious icons as having Aura of Fear equal to the SPIRIT of the wielder (minimum of 4 APs, even if no one is holding the icon in question).
  • Blessed/Sacred Touch — Someone with at least Medium-level Credentials in a religious group can attack vampires as if the church member had Flame Being at 6 APs (10 if they have High-level Credentials). This mystic flame will manifest as a blast of white light like an acetylene torch’s wherever the church member touches the vampire. This attack also benefits from the vulnerability to flame discussed below.
  • Vulnerability to Holy Ground — when a vampire enters holy ground, he must roll a test with WILL as AV/EV versus an OV/RV based on the significance of the holy site; a small church might only be 4/4, while the Vatican would be 12/12. Failure means that the vampire is effectively Stunned that round. Once the vampire passes a test, it no longer has to continue testing to avoid being stunned.
    Regardless of any test results, vampires always suffer a CS penalty to the OV of all actions equal to the AV/OV of the test divided by 4. For example, a vampire on the grounds of the Vatican would always act at a +3CS to the OV of all actions.

    Vampires whose Current BODY is reduced to 0 by any of the following means dies instantly, turning to ash :
  • Attack Vulnerability to silver — taking any RAPs from a silver weapon automatically stuns the vampire (even if the RAPs are subsequently removed by LDD) and RAPs from a silver weapon that are not LDDed must then be healed at a normal rate instead of using Regeneration (also, the wound never completely heals, though it will slow down to a light ooze once all RAPs have been healed).
  • Partial Attack Vulnerability to fire — -2CS to RV.
  • Fatal Vulnerability to impalement by wooden objects — any vampire impaled through the chest with a wooden stake or spear takes 1 RAP of damage per turn automatically; this damage cannot be removed with LDD or healed with Regeneration (it can be healed normally if the vampire survives and removes the stake, and the RAPs from the initial impact can be LDDed).
  • Fatal Vulnerability to sunlight — every turn a vampire is in sunlight they have Flame Being: 8, which attacks them as well as anyone touching them; this damage cannot be removed with LDD or healed with Regeneration (it can be healed normally if the vampire survives and escapes the sunlight).

Drawbacks: CIA (Serve the Master), SIA (Consume Blood)


Master Vampire

“You fools ! Did you really think that you could slay *gods* and face no penalty ?”

Dex: 07 Str: 09 Bod: 07 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 05 Wil: 06 Min: 04 Occupation: Varies
Inf: 07 Aur: 06 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 005-010
Init: 028 HP: 060

Powers: Claws: 10, Hypnotism*: 06, Regeneration: 15, Superspeed*: 07

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Regeneration allows healing even after death, unless the vampire was killed by sunlight, by being impaled through the heart by a wooden stake, or by being beheaded and burned (+4FC)
  • Superspeed does not reduce time to complete tasks (-1FC)

Advantages: Attractive, Lightning Reflexes, Miscellaneous (Masters can turn humans — see Vampire PCs below, 150 points)

Connections: Possibly another Master or Great Master (Low)

Vampiric drawbacks:

  • Religious Icons — Vampires treat religious icons as having Aura of Fear equal to the SPIRIT of the wielder (minimum of 4 APs, even if no one is holding the icon in question).
  • Blessed/Sacred Touch — Someone with at least Medium-level Credentials in a religious group can attack vampires as if the church member had Flame Being at 6 APs (10 if they have High-level Credentials). This mystic flame will manifest as a blast of white light like an acetylene torch’s wherever the church member touches the vampire. This attack also benefits from the vulnerability to flame discussed below.
  • Vulnerability to Holy Ground — when a vampire enters holy ground, he must roll a test with WILL as AV/EV versus an OV/RV based on the significance of the holy site; a small church might only be 4/4, while the Vatican would be 12/12. Failure means that the vampire is effectively Stunned that round. Once the vampire passes a test, it no longer has to continue testing to avoid being stunned.
    Regardless of any test results, vampires always suffer a CS penalty to the OV of all actions equal to the AV/OV of the test divided by 4. For example, a vampire on the grounds of the Vatican would always act at a +3CS to the OV of all actions.

    Vampires whose Current BODY is reduced to 0 by any of the following means dies instantly, turning to ash :
  • Attack Vulnerability to silver — taking any RAPs from a silver weapon automatically stuns the vampire (even if the RAPs are subsequently removed by LDD) and RAPs from a silver weapon that are not LDDed must then be healed at a normal rate instead of using Regeneration (also, the wound never completely heals, though it will slow down to a light ooze once all RAPs have been healed).
  • Partial Attack Vulnerability to fire — -2CS to RV.
  • Fatal Vulnerability to impalement by wooden objects — any vampire impaled through the chest with a wooden stake or spear takes 1 RAP of damage per turn automatically; this damage cannot be removed with LDD or healed with Regeneration (it can be healed normally if the vampire survives and removes the stake, and the RAPs from the initial impact can be LDDed).
  • Fatal Vulnerability to sunlight — every turn a vampire is in sunlight they have Flame Being: 8, which attacks them as well as anyone touching them; this damage cannot be removed with LDD or healed with Regeneration (it can be healed normally if the vampire survives and escapes the sunlight).

Drawbacks: Dark Secret (Vampire), MIA (Consume Blood), SIA (Serve Great Masters)


Great Master

Dex: 07 Str: 09 Bod: 07 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 07 Wil: 08 Min: 06 Occupation: Varies
Inf: 08 Aur: 08 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 012+
Init: 031 HP: 080

Powers: Claws: 10, Hypnotism*: 08, Regeneration: 15, Superspeed*: 07

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Regeneration allows healing even after death, unless the vampire was killed by sunlight, by being impaled through the heart by a wooden stake, or by being beheaded and burned (+4FC)
  • Superspeed does not reduce time to complete tasks (-1FC)

Advantages: Attractive, Lightning Reflexes, Miscellaneous (Great masters can turn humans — see Vampire PCs below, 150 points)

Connections: At least two City Officials (Powerful, High)

Vampiric drawbacks:

  • Religious Icons — Vampires treat religious icons as having Aura of Fear equal to the SPIRIT of the wielder (minimum of 4 APs, even if no one is holding the icon in question).
  • Blessed/Sacred Touch — Someone with at least Medium-level Credentials in a religious group can attack vampires as if the church member had Flame Being at 6 APs (10 if they have High-level Credentials). This mystic flame will manifest as a blast of white light like an acetylene torch’s wherever the church member touches the vampire. This attack also benefits from the vulnerability to flame discussed below.
  • Vulnerability to Holy Ground — when a vampire enters holy ground, he must roll a test with WILL as AV/EV versus an OV/RV based on the significance of the holy site; a small church might only be 4/4, while the Vatican would be 12/12. Failure means that the vampire is effectively Stunned that round. Once the vampire passes a test, it no longer has to continue testing to avoid being stunned.
    Regardless of any test results, vampires always suffer a CS penalty to the OV of all actions equal to the AV/OV of the test divided by 4. For example, a vampire on the grounds of the Vatican would always act at a +3CS to the OV of all actions.

    Vampires whose Current BODY is reduced to 0 by any of the following means dies instantly, turning to ash :
  • Attack Vulnerability to silver — taking any RAPs from a silver weapon automatically stuns the vampire (even if the RAPs are subsequently removed by LDD) and RAPs from a silver weapon that are not LDDed must then be healed at a normal rate instead of using Regeneration (also, the wound never completely heals, though it will slow down to a light ooze once all RAPs have been healed).
  • Partial Attack Vulnerability to fire — -2CS to RV.
  • Fatal Vulnerability to impalement by wooden objects — any vampire impaled through the chest with a wooden stake or spear takes 1 RAP of damage per turn automatically; this damage cannot be removed with LDD or healed with Regeneration (it can be healed normally if the vampire survives and removes the stake, and the RAPs from the initial impact can be LDDed).
  • Fatal Vulnerability to sunlight — every turn a vampire is in sunlight they have Flame Being: 8, which attacks them as well as anyone touching them; this damage cannot be removed with LDD or healed with Regeneration (it can be healed normally if the vampire survives and escapes the sunlight).

Drawbacks: Dark Secret (Vampire)


Vampire PC Template

Anyone who is killed by a master vampire’s bite (i.e. reduced to Negative BODY APs of Current BODY) will become a vampire. After two to three days (the exact timing is unknown), the subject will arise as a goon. Thus, the victim will get the stats of a typical goon except for Physical Attributes and Powers that are equal to or greater than a typical goon’s; in the latter case, add the APs of the relevant stats together using AP math.

As the new vampire moves up the higher levels of vampire ability, repeat the conversion process by applying the original human stats to the new level’s typical stats just as you did with the goon’s stats originally. How quickly a vampire advances in the ranks is apparently up to the master (i.e. the GM), with some taking quite a while and others such as Crow managing to go from goon to master in a few days.

Newly changed characters will retain all previous HPs, Powers, Skills and other stats except for whatever exceptions are deemed appropriate by the GM. Note that goons will be very restricted in this regard while more advanced vampires should retain most if not all of their previous abilities.

By Roy Cowan

Source of Character: Vampire$ by John Steakley (novel)

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