Dhampir: Scions of the Night is a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible PLAYER'S RESOURCE supplement by Landon Bellavia.
In the shadows of civilization, the offspring of the forbidden union between humans and vampires struggle to find their place in a hostile world. These scions of the night need every trick available to them if they are to survive the enmity and mistrust that awaits in the world beyond. The dhampir children of undead vampires and hapless or depraved humans survive through unique fusions of ingenuity and resiliency, and now these abilities can be yours!
Packed with variant racial abilities and class features designed to allow players to customize the feel and style of their dhampir characters just as thoroughly as any elf or dwarf, Dhampir: Scions of the Night offers everything you need to bring a dhampir adventurer to life. Complete with racial analysis and idea starters for character background and appearance, Dhampir: Scions of the Night is an advanced guide to playing a dhampir.
Dhampir: Scions of the Night also includes a half-dozen sample dhampir for use as PCs or NPCs.
You can download a sample and check out the Contents at ragingswan.com. And don't forget, Dhampir: Scions of the Night is included in Raging Swan's free PDFs promotion.
Dhampir: Scions of the Night is a Dual Format PDF. The product's ZIP file contains two versions, one optimised for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimised for use on a mobile device such as an iPad.
All right HavocXIII here with my review of Dhampir: Scions of the Night.
Its got 34 pages including a front and back cover and it's got lots of crunch and fluff just how I like my supplements.
This PDF gives a lot of options for our half-undead brethren. It starts off with lots of fluff about Dhampir their heritage, physiology, and personality. After that we've got variant ability scores and some alternate racial traits.
It ends with some premade NPCs a guide on how to read state blocks and a Raging Swan catalog.
I had meant to review this awhile ago, but totally forgot, so I apologize for that.
As the title states, this part one of my review. I have not fully read this over, but read the vast chunk of the mechanics and wanted to at least toss up a basic review, as I was given this pdf for free so I could review it.
I really like this book a lot, there are plenty of options and variants to pretty much build your perfect Dhampir, regardless of origin or class.
I had initially asked for this book, as I am playing a Dhampir in a game here on the boards, and I got good use of this book.
One thing I liked a lot was the Undead bloodline variant, as not only is that the class I am playing, but I always felt Grasp of the Dead coulda been better. While Domination is obviously vampire-centric, its a solid replacement, period.
I think a lot of people find the idea of playing a half vampire interesting. The potential inner conflict with your darker nature, or the outer conflict with your parentage can really provide interesting moments at your table. Dhampir: Scions of the night provides this in spades.
The are a host of ways to customize your Dhampir. After giving you a fair bit of Flavor in the first 2 pages, you have a number of alternate racial traits to personalize your Dhampir. Some of the ones that really stand out to me are the variants on spell like abilities. While detect undead is somewhat useful (particularly if you are going with the Dhampir Vampire Hunter Trope), it can be a little lackluster. These alternate spell like abilities offer some very interesting additional options, and they all capture a piece of the lore that surrounds vampires in game. From animalistic form, which at high levels allows you to change into a bat or wolf, or draining touch, which gives you a taste of the power that vampires wield against life itself, you'll find something to suit your tastes here if you like vampires.
This product also offers a number of interesting character options. In particular the rogues Play Dead Talent seems like it could offer an interesting dynamic to a combat. Its a bit more flavorful and dramatic then a simple in combat feint to get in a sneak attack. Overall I'd say you can find a number of interesting options here for most any kind of Dhampir character.
It is also a very useful tool for DMs who want to include Dhampir NPCs. First and foremost it has several fleshed out and detailed Dhampir NPCs at the end, complete with backgrounds, tactics and plot hooks to bring them into your campaign. In addition all of those alternate racial features are laid out in tables that you can roll against randomly if you need to generate an NPC on the fly. There is also a random feature chart with everything from bite shaped birth marks, to pupils that disappear in the sun. There is lots to flesh out what sets your Dhampir apart in this table.
Overall I'd say its a very good product, and definitely brings that can't wait to play one of these feel to playing a Dhampir Character.
So I picked up this book after learning that a friend of mine wanted to gm pathfinder for the first time and start with running Carrion Crown and invited me to game. Now considering that I have basically gm'd solely for the better part of 5 years now getting the chance to play an rp heavy gothic horror game with ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and Cthulhlian horror all thrown into the mix I couldn't do anything but say yes and getting a chance to finally run my dhampir witch that had been rolling around in the back of my head for the better part of a year was just too good to be true. So looking for more sources to add give me ideas after Blood of the Night didn't meet my expectations I picked up Scions of the night hoping to find some compelling and balanced options built around the idea of playing a vampires bastard spawn and I have to say this book hits the nail on the head.
To start with Raging Swan builds an absolutely excellent list of viable and balanced replacement for every single racial trait the Dhampir has. Want to build that Nosferatu born who always suffers from that wasting malady but feel like the undead resistances sort of work against the whole "is easily sickened" idea? Flip the bonuses to something new like channel resistance and mind-effecting affects. Want to play a Jiang-shi born dhampir fighter who's a little crazy for portents and isn't really interested in the skill bonuses the manipulative trait gives? Give him paranoid for bonuses in sense motive and perception or take the undead skin option and get some DR/silver for your trouble with your gm maybe even altering the dr to make it more in line with that of the jiang-shi. Want to build a Svetocher (moroi/vanilla vamp) dhampir bard who's obsessed with the stage and beguiling but think that the light sensitivity or postive energy weakness BotN gives really give you something cool to play with? Give them a water weakness that makes them treat it like holy water, now you have an excuse to only drink the finest wines let alone why they choose to bath in it (or how hard they are since when they bathe like normal people it could really kill them). Now the list goes on in on giving you option after option to create a really interesting and unique variant all your own. I mean in this example alone I haven't even gone over what I've changed to fit my with lol. Special mention should also go to the random tables to help give backstory to the events of your characters birth, I know for myself I had always had trouble thinking of many options for the vampire parent being female but the idea that your character is literally the result of a miracle spell cast by an unholy priest of undeath just gives me too many ideas to not want to use it for something (let alone reevaluate what one might want to do with that spell).
Next we get some new class options including some new things for the cleric, oracle, rogue, sorcerer, and witch. The Cleric gets 2 new subdomains, one for the death domain called Graveborn and another for the Luminous Subdomain for Sun. Now the Graveborn one is kind of like a white necromancer or becoming more human option with the domain granting positive energy healing and some more powers based on controlling people and undead (dominate person, control undead, etc.). Now I will say I really like this subdomain but felt like it fit more with the repose domain then the death domain and would allow someone to take both this and the undeath domain on one character which seems to be what they intended in the writing with some special interplay for being healed by both positive and negative energy. The Luminous Subdomain is okay with a focus on the aspect of light rather then fire. It's pretty interesting even if it doesn't call out to me. The oracle gets a few new revelations for the bone mystery including the ability to channel negative energy and drain blood. The rogue really gets some fun options with rogue talents letting them play dead after taking damage or sap life from a target and gain temp hp a few times a day. The sorcerer gets a few replace options for the undead domain to make it more vampire like including gaseous form and the ability to dominate others. Finally we get hex options for the witch including the ability to cut off targets from cure spells as well as an option called soul drinker which lets you slap negative levels on enemies.
After that we get the feats. Some of them are pretty standard fair like blending in with humans, getting some more race traits, and more alternate spell-like abilities but amongst them we also get some real gems a feat that gives your familiar or animal companion undead traits or the ability to substitute your hp in place of black onyx gems when creating undead.
Finally we get some sample Dhampir in the back. All in all we get about 6 different stat blocks for various characters ranging from antipaladins to rogues running the alignment gamut form LG to CE. One of the really cool things is that even though there are only about 6 or 7 stat blocks we get 11 unique characters out of all the stats with Raging swan giving us 2 completely different characters with write ups motivations, and goals and only having to really change the name and alignment on the stat block. I know I loved this since it gives me a wide range of interesting and compelling npc's to use in my home games while finding a way to compress the stat blocks so that they fit into this slim folio which I have to applaud them for.
So in closing this book is excellent, an absolutely wonderful supplement for any group looking for more options for their dhampir characters or just more options to add onto those given to us by blood of the night and if you can believe it there is still even more stuff for players to look into.
Very customizable and cool race, now with optional thirst for blood
This pdf is 34 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside of the front cover, 2 pages editorial and ToC, 1 page advice on how to read statblocks for novice DMs, 1 page advertisement and 1 page back cover, leaving 27 pages of content for the new Dhampir playable race.
As those of you who follow my reviews might know, I have very particular ideas about how vampires should be presented and quite frankly, more often than not, I don't think that they are aptly presented. Raging Swan Press's Brethren of the Crimson Altar, though, got it right and subsequently I was looking forward to this take on the half-breeds, all the while keeping my fingers crossed that we wouldn't get a another race of Tanis-like emo-half-breeds.
After two pages of fluff introducing the race, we are presented with the crunch of the dhampir and we're in for a treat: The half-vampiric scions of darkness come with a whole set of modular abilities: They get two sets of attribute modifiers to choose from, +2 Str or Dex, +2 Cha and -2 Con, low-light AND darkvision (offset by light sensitivity), a bonus against mind-affecting magic/diseases and to bluff and perception and are healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy and can detect undead. I'm not comfortable with one of their benefits, though: Resist Level Drain lets them ignore the detrimental effects of level drain (while still possibly dying from it) and recover from them without a saving throw. Depending on the campaign, this ability can be very powerful.
I already mentioned the modularity of the class, but not the extent: You get to choose from 12 choices that range from aforementioned perception and bluff bonuses to fangs, 8 possible sets of +2 bonuses against e.g. ability drain, death effects etc. to choose from, 4 weaknesses like light sensitivity and 12 spell-like abilities ranging from faster healing to spider climb.
Beyond these crunchy tables to customize your dhampir, we also get 2 d8-tables of sample backgrounds to explain how you were conceived and whether your mother or father was the vampire. Suffice to say, most are rather unpleasant...
Friends of traits get 8 new ones and extensive coverage is provided for dhampir adventurers - all the classes from the APG, the magus and the ninja and samurai are covered. Only the poor gunslinger has been left uncovered, which I consider a pity - gunslingers need love, too!
On the class feature side, we get 2 subdomains, 2 oracle revelations for the bones mystery, a new rogue talent and a major rogue talent, a variant of the undead bloodline and 2 very cool hexes for the witch. We also get 10 new alternate favored class options and all in all, I did not have a problem with any of the options presented.
There also are 9 so-called heritage-feats that essentially are dhampir-exclusive and further capitalize on the nature of the half-breeds, my favorite being the ability to substitute the onyx from create (greater) undead with the dhampir's blood. neat!
Finally, there's an extremely useful d%-table with disconcerting cosmetic features that betray the dhampir's tainted heritage - very cool.
Next up are sample dhampir characters: From a CR 10 antipaladin to Cr 1/2 rogues and sorcerers, we 7 stat-blocks for 11 characters, some of which use the same statblock. The characters all get the RSP-NPC-treatment and come with mannerisms, hooks, distinguishing features etc.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. The usually flawless 2-column b/w-standard of the layout by RSP has one particularity in this pdf that irked me a bit: While the sample dhampirs that use the same statblock get their same as a sub-header, dhampirs with an exclusive statblock don't get their name as a header. I gather that this saves space, but it also feels weirdly inconsistent - something I'm not used to in RSP's otherwise stellar and elegant layout. The b/artworks range from fair to ok and the pdf is extensively bookmarked and comes with a version that has been optimized for e-readers. While the writing by Landon Bellavia is concise and very good and the dhampir offers a plethora of options to represent heritage from different bloodlines, I maintain that the pdf has some shortcomings that blemish an otherwise excellent offering:
We don't get information on races like elves, dwarves etc. - while I get that the default assumption is of a human parent, I nevertheless would have enjoyed some minor sidebox or similar information to create elven or gnomish dhampirs and how they differ from human ones.
The pdf has been expanded with a web-enhancement that adds the thirst of blood as an optional balancing factor for rather conservative DMs and the age, height and weight tables have been added. Minor balancing concerns have been addressed. This is stellar support that has to be commended and rewarded - With many of my points of criticism gone, I'll correct my final verdict to 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.