Jack Crow is the anti-hero in the 1990 novel Vampire$, by John Steakley. Set in the modern world, it centres on a company whose business is to hunt deadly vampires.
The novel inspired a movie of the same name, though there were significant differences.
- Real Name: Jack Crow.
- Known Relatives: None.
- Group Affiliation: Vampire$, Inc..
- Base Of Operations: Dallas, TX.
- Height: 6’2” (1.88m). Weight: 230 lbs. (104 Kg.).
- Eyes: Brown. Hair: Black.
Powers and Abilities
Jack Crow is an Army combat veteran and an experienced undercover law enforcement officer.
He is also a man of great stamina and fortitude, both physically and mentally.
He has a strong commanding presence.
Crow is an expert on vampire hunting. Inasmuch as he is the longest surviving practitioner, going on three years.
His displays of strength are quite impressive at times.
- During one drunken brawl he picked up a motorcycle and was about to drop the hog on the biker that owned it when his friend Annabelle intervened.
- During a spectacular battle with a group of vampires in a church, he actually managed to push back a mass of goons with melee weapons and brute force.
Jack Crow started his career in government service with the US Army in Việt Nam. Then he went straight from the military to the “initials” phase of his government work (CIA, NSA, DEA, etc.).
He was a highly successful agent, but also more than a bit of a cowboy. Crow was promoted, demoted, and fired from almost every law-enforcement agency in the Congressional Registry.
It was during this time that he met Felix. Both shared their life stories while hiding out from a mob due to a case of mistaken identity.
Felix later saved Crow from some fellow smugglers trying to make their mark by killing a DEA agent – namely Crow.
Crow later learned of or was recruited by Vampire$, Inc.. It was a vampire hunting company secretly backed by the Vatican.
The Vatican was afraid that if it publicly acknowledged the existence of vampires or other supernatural menaces that it could lead to a second Dark Age. Thus, it used shell companies such as Vampire$, Inc., which was the North American vampire hunting group.
The world at large dismissed Vampire$, Inc. as a con-job.
Crow joined as the leader of the field team, called Team Crow. He served for three years, a record career length in that field, during which time he cleared out 18 nests.
The 18th turned out to be a trap. After apparently killing all of the vampires, the team was ambushed during their celebratory party by a Master Vampire.
The Master killed everyone but Crow and Cat, the man who served as second-in-command.
Rebuilding the squad
Crow recruited some new people, and moved some of the support team to a field position to compensate for his losses.
His best new recruit was William Felix, a gunman of extraordinary talent. Felix was brought in because Jack discovered (with some input from the Vatican) that silver bullets could — under certain conditions — do extra damage to vampires.
Felix refused at first. But he capitulated when Crow told him that the next job, in Cleburne, Texas, seemed to be a trap arranged by the vampires in league with the town officials.
True to Jack’s suspicions, Cleburne was a trap. Despite the attempts of the Cleburne officials to circumvent Crow’s efforts, Team Crow still managed to kill every vampire in the town. They did not lose anyone, and even recruited a new member in the process.
But in the wake of these events, Felix convinced Crow that his team was effectively done.
Felix’s point was brought home by Davette’s confession.
She had been a thrall of one of the masters at Cleburne and had contacted Team Crow to help him kill them. She had, however, used this opportunity to escape the master. But she hadn’t felt safe telling them the truth until they had killed him.
It was by then evident that the vampires simply knew too much about them. Team Crow needed to head to sanctuary at the Vatican and regroup.
Unfortunately, other master vampires were still tracking the team. These vampires killed most of Team Crow before they could leave Texas. Even Crow died, killed in a suicidal attempt to assassinate one of the masters.
As it turned out, Crow had been taken by the Master and turned into a vampire.
Crow’s incredible willpower allowed him to actually penetrate the grounds of the Vatican, something no other vampire could do.
He went in to assassinate Felix, but Felix had expected him. The Pope killed the Crow-vampire with his blessed touch.
Jack Crow is a huge man, “six-feet-two of muscle and resolve and mean,” weighing in at 200+ pounds.
He usually radiates a very intimidating aura, but can be invitingly charming when he feels like it.
He is a very open man, with whatever emotions he is feeling plainly evident upon his face. Though he can be a very convincing actor when need be.
In a word, Jack is angry. He is outraged about all of the things that are wrong in life. He is even more outraged about the willingness of most people to avoid these injustices rather than confront them head on.
Consequently, he has found himself working in the field fighting to make a difference most of his life. He usually does that alone, because his fanaticism made him a demanding and often impolitic person with which to work.
He would confide in close friends that the most important thing in life, in his opinion, was Style. No one can get rid of all the evil in the world and no one lives forever, there’s no final score or tally. Thus, all there is is what you did while you were alive.
Like the rest of the team, Crow partied heartily during his off time. They did so in the same manner that most men do when they work in a highly stressful and extremely dangerous occupation.
Jack’s fanatical resolve had its disadvantages. He could not hide his disgust for people he considered weak or cowardly. He would often get enraged when someone interfered with him or was hesitant to deal with the uglier realities of life.
He also had what even he referred to as “John Wayne Fever”, when he often would not back down or retreat even when it might be the prudent thing to do.
He took great pride in working with his fellow vampire hunters, because they had the same level of resolve and dedication as he. However, he also felt great pain when each of them died. He carried the deaths of each one of these, the finest men he had ever known, as a personal burden.
This guilt led to Jack’s suicide in the form of a hopeless attack upon a master vampire.
“I kill vampires for money. A lot of it. So don’t tell me there ain’t no God. I know fucking well there’s a God. I just don’t understand Him.”
“Fuck your buildings and fuck your town and fuck your mayor and if you aren’t gonna help us — *knowing* we’re right — just because you’re afraid of a little risk… Well, then, fuck… you… too !”
And most importantly: “Rock n’ Roll !!”
As a vampire: “Felix ! Feeeelixxxx ! I have come for you !”
DC Universe Adaptation
(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).
Jack Crow could have crossed paths with any number of heroes during his law-enforcement days, most of which focused around the US/Mexico border. He might have served as field leader of some version of the Suicide Squad à la Rick Flagg.
Team Crow might be encountered by anyone battling a supernatural menace. It was strongly implied that the Vatican had other specialist monster hunting teams, and Team Crow could just as easily have been tasked with werewolves, demons, or any other mystic threat.
Note that while the team works for the Vatican, they’re by and large not particularly religious men nor dogmatically loyal. They would act on their own instincts of what was right whether the church agreed or not. So they could work comfortably with men like John Constantine.
Crow might also be working security for any number of government complexes. Given his drive to be actively involved in events, he would have to have a special reason to take such a relatively reactive assignment.
Perhaps the facility could be involved in research of extraterrestrial or even extra dimensional invaders à la Phobos Base in Doom or the Black Mesa Research Facility in Half-Life.
Crow might also be investigating rumors revolving around such a place when all hell breaks loose (perhaps literally). He could be the one that calls for a PC group’s help in a crisis (over the administrator’s protests) and act as a guide for the PCs when they arrive on the scene.
DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
|Dex: 05||Str: 04||Bod: 05|
|Int: 06||Wil: 08||Min: 07|
|Inf: 07||Aur: 07||Spi: 07|
|Init: 018||HP: 050|
Detective (Legwork, Police Procedures)*: 06, Martial Artist (EV)*: 05, Military Science: 04, Thief (Stealth): 04, Vehicles (Land)*: 05, Weaponry*: 05, Weaponry (Anti-Vampire): 06
Area Knowledge (Dallas, TX), Expertise (Psychology), Intensive Training, Languages (Español), Leadership, Scholar (Vampire Hunting).
Bonuses and Limitations:
Crow’s Expertise in Psychology does not represent formal training, but rather his uncanny knack for reading people’s true feelings.
Dallas PD (High), Team Crow & Vampire$, Inc. (High), US Federal Law-Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies (Low), Vatican (Powerful, High).
Guilt (Deaths of teammates), Serious Irrational Dislike (bullies, cowards & fat people).
Responsibility of Power.
- Ballista [BODY 03, EV 06, Ammo: 01, Range: 02, 6 points. This is a huge crossbow that fires wooden bolts the size of baseball bats.
The bolt usually has a cable attached [BODY 05 STR 07]. When a vampire is shot with the bolt, a winch outside is activated (usually attached to a large truck) and the vampire is then dragged out into the sunlight].
- CRUSADER CHAINMAIL [BODY 05, Blunting: 03, Enhance (Slashing, Piercing RV): 02 (cap is 08), Flash: 01, Power Loss (Blunting drops to 01 against non Slashing/Piercing damage), Stealth penalty 2/3, Partial Coverage (Long Coat)].
This is a suit of full-length silvery chain mail (made of a high-tech plastic) that covers the wearer from the soles of his boots to the top of his head with just the oval for the face left exposed. The suit includes a large black utility belt. Across the chest is a large white cross, which is actually a halogen light.
- Crow and his team usually have various other items to assist them, especially explosives. Their standard tactic is to blow up whatever building the vampires are in and then clear away the rubble, spearing vampires and dragging them into the sunlight as they are uncovered.
The effects of the weaponry against supernatural creatures are not detailed here because said effects are idiosyncratic to each campaign world. Modify the above as suitable for the current campaign — the vampire hunter teams use the equipment that they do because it has been demonstrated as being effective, not out of blind adherence to myth.
Jack Crow — Master Vampire
|Dex: 07||Str: 09||Bod: 07|
|Int: 07||Wil: 09||Min: 07|
|Inf: 08||Aur: 08||Spi: 07|
|Init: 028||HP: 060|
Claws: 10, Hypnotism*: 09, 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).
Detective (Legwork, Police Procedures): 06, Military Science: 04, Thief (Stealth)*: 07, Vehicles (Land)*: 07, Weaponry*: 07, Weaponry (Anti-Vampire): 06
Area Knowledge (Dallas, TX), Attractive, Expertise (Psychology), Intensive Training, Languages (Español), Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Scholar (Vampires).
At least one Great Master (High).
- 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).
Dark Secret (Vampire), MIA (Consume Blood), SIA (Serve Great Masters).
Source of Character: Vampire$ by John Steakley (novel).
Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, Nick Yankovec.