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Vampires, Liches, and Werewolves... Oh my


Pathfinder Online


Aberrant life states and magical afflictions, they add spice to single player games. Whether it is being the Slayer in Baldur's gate and accidentally exploding Minsc because you got low HP, or struggling with every single NPC hating you rapidly burning to death in Morrowind because you didn't treat the precursor to vampirism quick enough.

I'd love to see such things incorporated in an MMO, with the associated huge drawbacks.


Okay, so if I'm reading you correctly - and let me know if I totally screwed this up - YOU as the player could actually get stuck as a vampire, or running around on the full moon as a werewolf.
Whether or not this was what you were talking about, I think that this is a brilliant idea, assuming GW did it correctly. I agree that these maladies should be associated with gigantic drawbacks, and thus should not be taken on lightly. A character who just goes looking for adventure shouldn't lightly screw up by hitting the wrong button and be cursed for life. They should know and accept the risks of whatever they were doing.
Second, they would have to think about how this would affect the other players. There is a severe difference between turning into a werewolf and tearing the face off of a NPC, and doing the same to some random guy who is walking past, who then dies of no fault of his own. Of course, then you would be flagged as a criminal, so you might have to learn to seclude yourself in the wilderness for those random nights. . .
finally, would there be any benefits? Lets say I'm stuck as a vampire for life. Am I totally screwed, or can I turn my sparkly, CGI abs to my advantage?
One last thing: Vampires shouldn't have sparkly CGI abs. Just saying.

Regardless, I'm excited about pursuing this line of thought further. This could get very interesting...


Darkrunner wrote:

Okay, so if I'm reading you correctly - and let me know if I totally screwed this up - YOU as the player could actually get stuck as a vampire, or running around on the full moon as a werewolf.

Whether or not this was what you were talking about, I think that this is a brilliant idea, assuming GW did it correctly. I agree that these maladies should be associated with gigantic drawbacks, and thus should not be taken on lightly. A character who just goes looking for adventure shouldn't lightly screw up by hitting the wrong button and be cursed for life. They should know and accept the risks of whatever they were doing.
Second, they would have to think about how this would affect the other players. There is a severe difference between turning into a werewolf and tearing the face off of a NPC, and doing the same to some random guy who is walking past, who then dies of no fault of his own. Of course, then you would be flagged as a criminal, so you might have to learn to seclude yourself in the wilderness for those random nights. . .
finally, would there be any benefits? Lets say I'm stuck as a vampire for life. Am I totally screwed, or can I turn my sparkly, CGI abs to my advantage?
One last thing: Vampires shouldn't have sparkly CGI abs. Just saying.

Regardless, I'm excited about pursuing this line of thought further. This could get very interesting...

I think the ES games handle it well, in that you have plenty of forewarning and if you don't take care of it then it might be a pain in the butt to "cure" the condition. Skyrim makes it too much of a painless thing with meager benefits, but that's a design choice.

I'd love to come across an evil pc wizard lich. Knowing that was a tricky process that made him more powerful, but cut him off forever from civilized NPC society.

Or, the clan of player vampires infesting a local catacomb, that deal with only being able be above ground half the time, getting spanked my clerics, and having to feed on humanoids due to the perks and flavor it grants them.

Or, the ranger I'm grouped with, who unbeknownst to me if he hits 10% hp has a good chance of spontaneously transforming into a wearbear and going into an uncontrolled rage potentially eating my face before he regains control of his character. Sure, it's great when he "wants" to transform, but during other times it's a really nuisance. Plus if he gets spotted by any marshals he's suddenly a wanted man.

Personally, I think stuff like that would be really cool. As long as the drawbacks are large and prohibitive the allure would be very limited (esp to min-maxxers). However, having stuff like that out in the world makes it a much more interesting and dangerous place to be.


Condensed Topic Points:

* Were-form acts as a disguise and prevents NPC marshals and PCs from seeing anything other than <Werebear Male> on the screen (unless you transform in front of a live studio audience).

* Pathfinder, from what I've read, has made ALL were-forms evil (sans the neutral aforementioned werebear), but since lycanthropy can only be passed from a natural lycanthrope to an afflicted lycanthrope, the curse could only be acquired from an NPC natural lycan (probably as part of a special quest). If you fight afflicted lycanthropes, you probably won't be exposed to the curse of lycanthropy, and even if you do become afflicted, you can be cured (unlike natural lycanthropes).

* No sparkly vampires +1

* Vampirism could get out of control pretty fast, but since the spawn created by the master vampire are under the master vampire's control (just looking at PnP rules vs. non-Pathfinder vampire variants like Underworld), the PC would still be "controlled" by the master vampire until it is destroyed. Once again, maybe there could be a special quest chain where you turn, do missions for the master vampire, and then are freed by NPC force and left as a free-will vampire. Nix the ability to create spawn, and I could see this as working (in theory).

* I could see a necromancer specialist wizard or undead bloodline sorcerer progressing into some sort of lich capstone at 20th level.


I can see a major problem with Vampires being that once you get one, then you get 5, and each of those makes more, and suddenly everyone is a vampire. I think that the best way to do that would be either a time limit on vampire spawn (3 hours of actual time logged in?) or maybe just poisoning a player "bitten" by a vampire, instead of them turning into vampire spawn.

Love where were-animals are going. I don't know how you would do "going mad." Becoming an NPC temporarily, perhaps? Either way, having to separate yourself from society, and warning your friends as a precaution is amazing. Or, better yet, releasing the werewolves on a full moon all at once as part of invasion.


Darkrunner wrote:

Love where were-animals are going. I don't know how you would do "going mad." Becoming an NPC temporarily, perhaps? Either way, having to separate yourself from society, and warning your friends as a precaution is amazing. Or, better yet, releasing the werewolves on a full moon all at once as part of invasion.

I look to the Worgen (from WoW) as a possible example of how to handle PC lycanthropes, by giving them their own little area in which to learn about themselves. If you did it as a quest chain that takes place in a specific point on the map (say deep in a forested area) where other player characters are not likely to stumble across you, you could have the player character go through the process of "learning to control the beast within." This give them the mechanical reasons of why they don't "lose control" when they get hit and turn into a temporary NPC (horrible, horrible idea).

Spending time using the new mechanics of being a lycanthrope (which could be "purchased" as a module instead of existing as pure in-game content) and learning the dos and don’ts of shape shifting could also be beneficial from a RPing standpoint because you feel like you are becoming more invested with your character. This also allows you to shape the way in which your lycanthropic character interacts with the world.

Goblin Squad Member

If there are meta-humanoids they should be handled as alpha classes. And getting them should be something done after you get a capstone.

I like the idea of alpha classes, but they should have a hard life. They should always be flagged if they are found out(like pulling out your saber in SWG) and every time you are defeated you are set back, and if you get set back enough you lose your meta-ness.

Becoming a meta-humanoid shouldn't be random either, it should require a difficult search to find a place to get transformed, not hopeing that a random meta-human npc attacks you and doesn't kill you and allows you to transform. It should involve seeking out a group of npc meta-humans and proving your self to them. And meta-humanoids shouldn't be able to convert others, you can't trust players to keep the alpha class community.

Becoming a meta-humanoid should be a solo adventure, group progress should not be possible, and you should not be able to get help from a friend.

Meta's should be discouraged from grouping through an automatic bounty system. If you kill a meta you should be able to trade in a looted trophy for a reward(reward can be inflated by players who want to lower the meta population). You would have to be in a group of players you trust, because death results in loss of skill(or some aspect), and eventually in loss of your meta status.

Meta = hermit, for the most part.

Meta's should not be invincible, a smart regular player should be able to take one down if they spend an equal time specializing.


Not sure if I am a fan of the above mentioned restrictions of "meta-humanoids." If you want to go to such extremes, why not just let players purchase "elite" monster alts, like dragons, bullets, lycanthropes, liches, vampires, whathaveyou... and let them spawn in game and try to destroy civilization? After all, if you gave PCs incentive to kill the monstrous PC and gave the monstrous PC incentive to kill the PCs, you could create a very fun dynamic in the gaming world.

Monstrous PCs should remain anonymous, but the ability to play as one should only be available sparingly (say, once per day/week if you purchase a mod for it or an in-game "contract" with a monstrous entity). It would be nice if certain monstrous PC alts had abilities that mirrored PC class abilities.


I would tend to lean more towards the original idea here, in that this is primarily a disadvantage, with small perks if you choose to play it right, as a major consequence to...well...getting eaten by a werewolf. I dislike the idea of "buying the right to be a werewolf or vampire" as I think that it falls back into so many of the problems that games like WoW have, and PFO is trying to avoid.


Admittedly, I was being a little facetious in my idea of purchasing monstrous PC content, but I would like to see a more toned down version of vampires and werewolves in PFO. Not saying the benefits should outweigh the cons of such an affliction, but I'm not saying we need all the bells and whistles that Pathfinder grants vampires... especially vampires... or lycanthropes.

Liches, I feel, could be completely contained within a PC progression towards a necromancy specialist wizard or undead bloodline sorcerer.


Pheoran Armiez wrote:

Not saying the benefits should outweigh the cons of such an affliction, but I'm not saying we need all the bells and whistles that Pathfinder grants vampires... especially vampires... or lycanthropes.

No kidding.


Why not reinvent the mythos a little bit?

Give silver something to do, I like the iconic imagery of a silver weapon overcoming a vampire's or lycanthrope's defenses or causing extra damage to them.

Vampires are undead that feed on the living to maintain their own fell life, but in most MMOs, food does not equal sustenance. I don't feel vampires should have to feed to live, but I can see them feeding to gain some other benefit or buff. Maybe they can feed on a recently slain humanoid corpse/husk (like looting) to gain a buff for X many hours. Likewise, I could see them having an affinity for darkness and an antipathy towards daylight. Since vampire PCs, like normal PCs, have a sort of immortality, perhaps daylight doesn't kill them, but it severely weakens them.

Lycanthropes struggle to contain the beast within, but MMOs that take control of player characters (beyond fear effects or very rare and short-lived boss abilities) really piss players off. I think by flagging a lycanthrope by NPC characters (maybe adding a temporary bounty to give player characters incentive to attack the lycanthrope), you will provide all the necessary mechanics you need to keep lycans out of civilized areas for the most part. Limit their transformations during daytime, and synchronizing their nightly transformations to the full moon, and things could be fun. If the transformation leaves the lycanthrope unable to use spellcasting abilities but enhances melee combat abilities, I could see it as an even tradeoff.

Perhaps "the change" damages/ruins/breaks clothing/armor if worn.


Not going to bother quoting the whole passage right above mine, but I like where it is going. I still think there should be some major disadvantages, but this seems much more in line with what I was thinking.

Goblin Squad Member

Darkrunner wrote:
I would tend to lean more towards the original idea here, in that this is primarily a disadvantage, with small perks if you choose to play it right, as a major consequence to...well...getting eaten by a werewolf.

In any game in which the players are reborn whole on death, I think the answer is obvious. You retain your vampirism or lycanthropy until you die again. Then you have to refind the master, redo the quest, etc. Or maybe there is a cooldown before you can get infected again.

So yes, you get advantages, yes, you get disadvantages, but if you die, you become merely human. Play that creature of the night, but play it with cunning and guile, like it matters...


Urman wrote:


So yes, you get advantages, yes, you get disadvantages, but if you die, you become merely human. Play that creature of the night, but play it with cunning and guile, like it matters...

Exactly...*evil chuckle*...

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Pheoran Armiez wrote:

Not sure if I am a fan of the above mentioned restrictions of "meta-humanoids." If you want to go to such extremes, why not just let players purchase "elite" monster alts, like dragons, bullets, lycanthropes, liches, vampires, whathaveyou... and let them spawn in game and try to destroy civilization? After all, if you gave PCs incentive to kill the monstrous PC and gave the monstrous PC incentive to kill the PCs, you could create a very fun dynamic in the gaming world.

Monstrous PCs should remain anonymous, but the ability to play as one should only be available sparingly (say, once per day/week if you purchase a mod for it or an in-game "contract" with a monstrous entity). It would be nice if certain monstrous PC alts had abilities that mirrored PC class abilities.

Agreed. Why not have a goal of allowing players to play creatures hostile to humanoids? I have no idea how to keep such a system from being abused horribly as it interacts with factional PvP, but I love the concept of asymmetrical MMOPVP.


I was just kidding about the monstrous PC thing, but...

Perhaps every now and again, one of the GMs will suit up and enter into the world of PFO as a Heroic Monster (say a dragon, lich, vampire, lycanthrope, elemental) and will begin laying claim to a particular area of the map (making their lair). An event like this could be world changing and force allies and even enemies to work together to stop the spread of their evil or destruction. It is the ultimate PvP experience, player characters verses a GM controlled elite enemy that can think, reason, and react to changes in the environment.

Once this mechanic is established (we will say, once a week/month something fun like this occurs), exceptional player characters could be invited to have a chance of controlling a monstrous PC character. The GMs could limit the monstrous character to a number of specific hexes (to avoid going after enemy factions for the player's normal character) and the monstrous PC would be in play until they are destroyed or they are able to lay claim to the hexes of their new lair. If the PC is successful in claiming the hexes, they may gain some reward in game for their other character (or for their account), while player characters who defeat the PC gain an in-game reward.

Just a thought.

Lantern Lodge

Definitely want lycanthropes but evil only applies to certain kinds. I have played many lycans as they are my favorite nonstandard chars(except for drow) and afflicted lycans have trouble controlling themselves at first but eventually can be almost as good as natural lycans.

I say lycans and such should require becoming unlocked and an afflicted char when changed would see all people as same so cant tell friend from foe and some abilities(like spellcasting) would require concentration or will checks to successfully complete.

Becoming an afflicted might open the possibility to create ONE natural lycan char that gets those advantages as the char gets older(total time spent on skills). Still have neg npc reactions stronger for the evil types but not as strong for the good and neutral types.

Vamps would work similar just no afflicted/natural distinctions.

definitely agree with limiting numbers though.

Goblinworks Founder

Not something I'd like to see in the first release of the game, maybe in an expansion or two down the road.

Never did like that lycans were evil, glad it was revised in later editions to be any alignment or a generous GM.

Hmm I would see a mini-game in this of which is in control of the body. Let's go with that the Lycan inside of you when it was created has an evil alignment. You must complete a mini-game to stave off the effects of it's evil influence on you; till you can complete the difficult quest of taming the beast inside you. Same scenario if you were evil and it was a good or neutral alignment. If you fail the mini-game it may make you change without you wanting too at awkward times (busy inn) or others may sense something wrong in you (Horse won't let you ride it now).

Same goes with a vampire say it depends on the circumstances that got you to that point. Did you do some naughty things for the vampire to get his/her attention and acceptance into the order (makes you start to lean towards an evil alignment). Do you slaughter humans to feast on their blood, and now you can't stop yourself from doing it or your character would start losing bonuses till you continued your ways of getting blood. You could try to feast on a cow but it makes you feel ill inside because it's not humanoid blood since you been so use to it; so the hunger comes back quicker and fiercer till you find a humanoid. You could atone for it, but it'd be a lengthy process that you have to follow strictly till the objectives are complete.

Lich did you go for it through knowledge and self discovery or did you go through darker means to get there. Your alignment might be influenced by your actions when you make the change.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Jeeze, people keep talking about evil here like it's some kind of bad thing...


I think you can pick to be a vampire at the start but wen a vampire kills a vampire it makes a vampire with your gear. But you still have your gear.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Rigbor wrote:
I think you can pick to be a vampire at the start but wen a vampire kills a vampire it makes a vampire with your gear. But you still have your gear.

That's funny, the blog and the devs haven't said anything like that. Source?

Goblinworks Founder

Blaeringr wrote:
Jeeze, people keep talking about evil here like it's some kind of bad thing...

Evil's bad thing mmkay.


Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Rigbor wrote:
I think you can pick to be a vampire at the start but wen a vampire kills a vampire it makes a vampire with your gear. But you still have your gear.
That's funny, the blog and the devs haven't said anything like that. Source?

I posted it rong i ment you shed be aball to. And i ment to say you can pick a vampire at the start and when you get killed by a vampire you cum back and a vampire has our gear but you still hath your gear ok. that is a new vampire has your gear giving a bettor rcein to stay alive.

Goblin Squad Member

Brady Blankemeyer wrote:
Blaeringr wrote:
Jeeze, people keep talking about evil here like it's some kind of bad thing...
Evil's bad thing mmkay.

m'kay

Goblin Squad Member

Hmm i like the idea of Vampire and Werewolf PCs. I just don't want griefers infecting random PCs. Lich thing is also a cool idea. Also it's not unheard of for a lich to maskerade as a normal person for years on end.

Taldor Goblin Squad Member

Except for the part where they have to stay the hell away from any good aligned divine caster. Lich's detect as both undead and evil.

Goblin Squad Member

Yes but there are spells and items that mask Alignment and Detection spells. These are simple spells for a Lich to pull off.

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