Eldran Tesh

Murnau Ruthven's page

175 posts. Alias of Daedalus the Dungeon Builder.

Full Name

Master Murnau Ruthven


Male Mastermind Moroi Mesmerist (Spirit Walker) 7

Active Effects:
Implanted Tricks: Compel Alactrity, Mesmeric Mirror


13/12 Dominate, 11/11 Command Undead, 11/13 Tricks, 4/4 Mesmerize, 3/4 Playwright, 2/2 Continued Animation; Spells 3/3 3rd level, 5/6 2nd level, 7/7 1st level


HP 115/115; AC 30/16/26; Saves 14/12/17; Init +9, Per +21 (DV 60 ft.)





Strength 18
Dexterity 16
Intelligence 16
Wisdom 12
Charisma 30

About Murnau Ruthven

Mastermind Moroi "middle-aged" Human Spirit Walker Mesmerist 7
LE Medium Undead (augmented humanoid)
Init +9; Senses Darkvision 60 ft Perception +21
AC 30, touch 16, flat-footed 26 (+8 natural, +3 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 deflection, +4 armor, +2 shield)
hp 115 (7d8+70+7); Fast Healing 5
Fort +14, Ref +12, Will +16
Channel resist +4
DR 10/Magic and silver
Resist cold 10, electricity 10
Immune undead immunities
Weakness Vampire Weaknesses
Speed 30 ft; climb 20 ft.
Melee Slam +9 (1d4+4 plus energy drain) or mwk scorpion whip +9 (1d4+4; reach 15 feet)
Ranged mwk crossbow +9 (1d8)
Special Attacks Blood Drain, Children of the Night, Create Spawn, Dominate (13/day, DC 23), Energy Drain (2 levels, DC 23), Command Undead (DC 23, 11/day), Hypnotic Stare (-2 to Will saves, attack rolls, spell DC and SR), painful stare (+3; +3d6), Mesmerist trick (Compel alacrity, Umbral shield, Mesmeric mirror, False flanker; 13/day), Mesmerize (DC 22, 4/day), Playwright (DC 22, 4/day)
Mesmerist Spells Known (CL 7th; concentration +17)
. . 3rd(3/day)— Bestow Curse (DC 23), Major Image (DC 23)
. . 2nd(6/day)— Command Undead (DC 22), Invisibility, Suggestion (DC 22), Detect Thoughts (DC 22)
. . 1st(7/day)— Demand Offering (DC 21), ill omen, obscuring mist, grease (DC 21), Silent Image (DC 21)
. . 0 (at will)— prestidigitation, mage hand, ghost sound, detect magic, unwitting ally (DC 20), Daze (DC 20)
Str 18, Dex 16, Con -, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 30
(13+6-1, 13+4-1, 10-1x0, 13+2+1, 9+2+1, 20+4+1+1+2)
Base Atk +5; CMB +9; CMD 22
Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness, Vile Leadership, Mesmerize (Least Ruithvein Blood Power), Playwright (Lesser Ruithvein Blood Power), Improved gaseous form (mind fog), Intense Pain, Command Undead
Traits Reactionary, Wicked Leader
Skills Bluff +28, Climb +12, Diplomacy +20, Disguise +14, Fly +10, Intimidate +20, Knowledge (arcana) +9, Knowledge (history) +13, Knowledge (local) +8, Knowledge (nobility) +9, Knowledge (religion) +7, Linguistics +8, Perception +21, Perform (oratory) +14, Sense motive +19, Spellcraft +13, Stealth +21, Use Magic Device +20,
Racial bonuses +8 bluff, climb, perception, sense motive, stealth,
Conditional Modifiers +1 on Charisma checks v. Evil creatures
Ranks 7 each in bluff, diplomacy, intimidate, knowledge (history), perception, sense motive, spellcraft, stealth, use magic device, fly; 3 in Knowledge (arcana, nobility); 2 in disguise, knowledge (local), linguistics, and perform (oratory); 1 in Knowledge (religion)
Languages Common, Necril, Infernal, Undercommon, Aklo, Elven
SQ Change Shape (Dire Bat, Wolf; beast shape II), gaseous form, shadowless, spider climb, Mastermind, knacks, mesmerist trick, Towering Ego, Bold stare (disorientation, sapped magic), Manifold tricks (2), Undead Inception, Continued Animation

Primary Items
Headband of Alluring Charisma +4, Amulet of Natural Armor +2, Cloak of Resistance +2, Ring of Protection +2, Bloodletting Thimble, handy haversack, +1 studded leather armor, Masterwork Light Crossbow, Crossbow Bolts (20), sleeves of many garments, darkwood shield, mwk scorpion whip, Bag of Holding type II

Ioun Stones
Cracked Dusty Rose Prism,

Misc. Magical Gear
Tree Feather Token (2), Traveler's Any-Tool,

Shrink Item (4)

Protective Penumbra (2)


76 gp

Special Abilities
Class Abilities:
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A mesmerist is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, sap, sword cane, and whip. He is proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

Spells: A mesmerist casts psychic spells drawn from the mesmerist spell list (see page 44). He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a mesmerist must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell’s level. The saving throw DC against a mesmerist’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the mesmerist’s Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a mesmerist can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table 1–4: Mesmerist on page 39. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score (see Table 1–3 on page 17 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook).

The mesmerist’s selection of spells is limited. A mesmerist begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the mesmerist’s choice. At each new mesmerist level, he learns one or more new spells, as indicated on Table 1–5: Mesmerist Spells Known. Unlike a mesmerist’s spells per day, the number of spells a mesmerist knows isn’t affected by his Charisma score; the numbers on Table 1–5 are fixed.

At 5th level and every 3 levels thereafter, a mesmerist can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the mesmerist loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least 1 level lower than the highest-level mesmerist spell the mesmerist can cast. A mesmerist can swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.

A mesmerist need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any mesmerist spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.

Hypnotic Stare (Su): A mesmerist can focus his stare on one creature within 30 feet as a swift action. That creature takes a –2 penalty on Will saving throws. This penalty changes to –3 at 8th level. A mesmerist can maintain his stare against only one opponent at a time; it remains in effect until the mesmerist stares at a new target, the opponent dies, the opponent moves farther than 30 feet away, or the mesmerist falls unconscious or dies. The mesmerist can remove the memory of his stare from the target’s mind; the creature doesn’t remember that it was affected (nor does it realize that it is currently being affected) unless the mesmerist allows it. The hypnotic stare is a psychic effect, and relies more on the mesmerist’s focus than the target’s perception of his stare. It can’t be avoided in the same ways a gaze attack can. The mesmerist can use this ability even while blinded, but must succeed at a DC 20 concentration check to do so. Staring at a creature requires the mesmerist’s focus, so if he uses a gaze attack or similar ability, he must target the subject of his hypnotic stare or voluntarily end the stare. The penalties from multiple mesmerists’ stares don’t stack, nor do they stack with penalties from witches’ evil eye hexes. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Knacks: Mesmerists learn a number of knacks, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table 1–5. These spells are cast like any other spells, but they do not consume any slots and can be used again. Knacks cast using other spell slots, due to metamagic feats, for example, consume spell slots as normal.

Mesmerist Tricks (Su): A mesmerist can create hypnotic bonds with his allies, implanting magical suggestions in their minds that he can later activate. Each day, he can implant a number of these tricks equal to 1/2 his mesmerist level (minimum 1) plus his Charisma bonus (if any). He can have only one trick implanted at a given time, and implanting a new trick ends the previous one (the mesmerist still loses the use of this ability he spent on the previous trick).

To implant a trick, the mesmerist must take a standard action and either touch a willing creature or implant the trick in himself. A creature can be the subject of only one mesmerist trick at a time. The mesmerist can activate the trick as a free action when a triggering condition is met (as defined in the trick’s description), even if it isn’t his turn. The subject must be within medium range (100 feet + 10 feet per level) for the mesmerist to trigger the trick. The mesmerist monitors for the trick’s triggering condition through a subtle telepathic connection, so he doesn’t need line of sight to trigger it—but anything that blocks telepathic contact prevents him from triggering tricks. An implanted trick lasts until the next time the mesmerist regains his spells.

Once triggered, a trick is no longer implanted, and can’t be triggered again until the mesmerist implants the trick again. The duration of the effect caused by triggering a trick is either instantaneous or appears in the trick’s entry. The DC for any mesmerist trick or masterful trick that requires a saving throw or skill check is 10 + 1/2 the mesmerist’s level + the mesmerist’s Charisma modifier.

The mesmerist knows one trick at 1st level, and learns another trick at 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter (to a maximum of 11 tricks at 20th level). Each daily use of mesmerist tricks can be used to implant any trick the mesmerist knows. Unless specifically noted in the mesmerist trick’s description, a mesmerist can’t choose a particular trick more than once.

Tricks Chosen:
Compel Alacrity: (15 feet)
A dash of mental speed lets the subject push past her physical limits to avoid an enemy. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject begins her turn within an enemy’s reach. The subject can move 10 feet as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity. The distance the subject can move increases by 5 feet for every 5 levels the mesmerist possesses, to a maximum of 30 feet at 20th level. The subject can’t move farther than her speed in this way. The movement from this trick doesn’t count against the subject’s movement speed for that round.

Umbral Shield:
The subject ignores any harmful effects of bright light or sunlight for 1 minute. The mesmerist can trigger this trick whenever the subject would be exposed to harmful bright light (such as sunlight is to a vampire). The subject is immune to the dazzled condition while this trick is in effect.

Mesmeric Mirror:
An illusory image appears near the subject to throw off attackers. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject is attacked or becomes the target of a spell that requires an attack roll. One duplicate of the subject appears, and the attacker must determine randomly which it hits (as mirror image). For every 5 class levels the mesmerist possesses, one additional image appears, to a maximum of five images at 20th level. Each image lasts for 1 minute per mesmerist level or until destroyed. This is an illusion (figment) effect.

False Flanker:
A duplicate of the mesmerist appears momentarily, as though he were fighting in tandem with the subject. The mesmerist can trigger this trick when the subject moves into or begins her turn in a square where she threatens an enemy. An illusory duplicate of the mesmerist appears in any unoccupied space adjacent to that enemy. This duplicate counts as threatening the enemy for the purposes of determining flanking, but can’t actually make attacks. The duplicate disappears at the end of the turn during which the trick is triggered. This is an illusion (figment) effect, and a creature that interacts with the false flanker can attempt a saving throw to disbelieve the effect.

Painful Stare (Su): When an attack that deals damage hits the target of a mesmerist’s hypnotic stare, the mesmerist can cause the target to take an amount of additional damage equal to 1/2 the mesmerist’s class level (minimum 1). The mesmerist can use this ability as a free action, and can use it even if it isn’t his turn. If the mesmerist uses this ability to increase his own damage, the additional damage increases by 1d6 points for every 3 class levels the mesmerist possesses. This damage is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit. A mesmerist can trigger this ability only once per round, but a single creature can take damage from multiple mesmerists’ painful stares in a round.

Towering Ego (Su): At 2nd level, a mesmerist gains a bonus equal to his Charisma bonus (minimum 0) on Will saving throws. If the mesmerist is under any effect that would prevent him from providing the emotional component of psychic spells (see page 144), he loses this bonus on saving throws.

Bold Stare (Su): At 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, a mesmerist’s hypnotic stare imposes a further effect upon its target. The mesmerist chooses one option each time he gains a new bold stare improvement, and the choice can’t be changed later. The mesmerist can’t choose the same bold stare improvement more than once unless otherwise noted. All of the mesmerist’s bold stare improvements affect the target as long as it is affected by the mesmerist’s hypnotic stare.

Stares chosen:
Disorientation: The hypnotic stare penalty also applies on attack rolls.

Sapped Magic: The hypnotic stare penalty also applies to the DCs of spells and spell-like abilities used by the target, and to the target’s spell resistance (if any).

Manifold Tricks (Su): At 5th level, the mesmerist can have two tricks implanted at a time. The number of concurrent tricks increases by one for every 4 mesmerist levels he possesses beyond 5th. Each creature can still be the subject of only one trick at a time. If the mesmerist implants a new trick while he already has his maximum number of concurrent tricks implanted, he must choose one implanted trick to dismiss without triggering (the dismissed trick still expends a daily use of the mesmerist’s tricks).

Spells: A spirit walker adds additional spells to his spell list at the spell levels indicated: hide from undead (1st), command undead (2nd), halt undead (3rd), and speak with haunt (4th). He can choose these as spells known, but doesn’t gain them automatically. This ability alters the mesmerist’s spell list.

Undead Inception (Su): At 1st level, a spirit walker can affect undead creatures with his hypnotic stare as the psychic inception bold stare ability. This allows him to affect only undead; he must actually choose the psychic inception bold stare improvement if he wants to also affect other mindless creatures. At 3rd level when the spirit walker uses this ability, undead targets don’t receive a saving throw bonus (if they did to begin with), have only a 25% chance of ignoring the spirit walker’s mind-affecting spells and abilities, and no longer need to be under the spirit walker’s gaze to be affected. At 5th level, when the spirit walker uses his mind-affecting spells and abilities, they affect all undead normally, with no chance of failure. This ability replaces consummate liar and mental potency.

Continued Animation (Su): At 3rd level, when a spirit walker is using hypnotic stare on a humanoid target and the target dies, as an immediate action the spirit walker can force the target’s soul to remain in the body. The spirit walker can then control the target as if using dominate person for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 the spirit walker’s class level. The creature gains a number of temporary hit points equal to 2 × the spirit walker’s class level and continues acting as though it were alive and conscious until it loses those temporary hit points or the duration expires. During this time, the creature counts as undead, but it can’t be healed by negative energy. The spirit walker can use this ability once per day for every 3 mesmerist levels he possesses. The target receives a Will saving throw (DC = 10 + 1/2 the spirit walker’s class level + his Charisma modifier) to avoid this effect and die normally. This ability ends immediately if at any point the target’s body is completely destroyed (such as by disintegrate) or restored to life. At 14th level, the spirit walker can apply this ability to any type of target as if using dominate monster. This ability replaces the 3rd- and 14th-level touch treatments.

Command Undead (Su): At 6th level, a spirit walker gains Command Undead as a bonus feat. A spirit walker can use Command Undead a number of times per day equal to 1 + his Charisma modifier (minimum 1), using his mesmerist level as his cleric level. At 10th level, the DC to resist this effect increases by 2. This ability replaces the 6th- and 10th-level touch treatments.


“Vampire” is an acquired template that can be added to any living creature with 5 or more Hit Dice (referred to hereafter as the base creature). Most vampires were once humanoids, fey, or monstrous humanoids. A vampire uses the base creature’s stats and abilities except as noted here.
CR: Same as the base creature + 2.
AL: Any evil.
Type: The creature’s type changes to undead (augmented). Do not recalculate class Hit Dice, BAB, or saves.
Senses: A vampire gains darkvision 60 ft.
Armor Class: Natural armor improves by +6.
Hit Dice: Change all racial Hit Dice to d8s. Class Hit Dice are unaffected. As undead, vampires use their Charisma modifier to determine bonus hit points (instead of Constitution).
Defensive Abilities: A vampire gains channel resistance +4, DR 10/magic and silver, and resistance to cold 10 and electricity 10, in addition to all of the defensive abilities granted by the undead type. A vampire also gains fast healing 5. If reduced to 0 hit points in combat, a vampire assumes gaseous form (see below) and attempts to escape. It must reach its coffin home within 2 hours or be utterly destroyed. (It can normally travel up to 9 miles in 2 hours.) Additional damage dealt to a vampire forced into gaseous form has no effect. Once at rest, the vampire is helpless. It regains 1 hit point after 1 hour, then is no longer helpless and resumes healing at the rate of 5 hit points per round.
Weaknesses: Vampires cannot tolerate the strong odor of garlic and will not enter an area laced with it. Similarly, they recoil from mirrors or strongly presented holy symbols. These things don’t harm the vampire—they merely keep it at bay. A recoiling vampire must stay at least 5 feet away from the mirror or holy symbol and cannot touch or make melee attacks against that creature. Holding a vampire at bay takes a standard action. After 1 round, a vampire can overcome its revulsion of the object and function normally each round it makes a DC 25 Will save.
Vampires cannot enter a private home or dwelling unless invited in by someone with the authority to do so.
Reducing a vampire’s hit points to 0 or lower incapacitates it but doesn’t always destroy it (see fast healing). However, certain attacks can slay vampires. Exposing any vampire to direct sunlight staggers it on the first round of exposure and destroys it utterly on the second consecutive round of exposure if it does not escape. Each round of immersion in running water inflicts damage on a vampire equal to one-third of its maximum hit points—a vampire reduced to 0 hit points in this manner is destroyed. Driving a wooden stake through a helpless vampire’s heart instantly slays it (this is a full-round action). However, it returns to life if the stake is removed, unless the head is also severed and anointed with holy water.
Speed: Same as the base creature. If the base creature has a swim speed, the vampire is not unduly harmed by running water.
Melee: A vampire gains a slam attack if the base creature didn’t have one. Damage for the slam depends on the vampire’s size. Its slam also causes energy drain (see below). Its natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Special Attacks: A vampire gains several special attacks. Save DCs are equal to 10 + 1/2 vampire’s HD + vampire’s Cha modifier unless otherwise noted.
Blood Drain (Su)
A vampire can suck blood from a grappled opponent; if the vampire establishes or maintains a pin, it drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution damage. The vampire heals 5 hit points or gains 5 temporary hit points for 1 hour (up to a maximum number of temporary hit points equal to its full normal hit points) each round it drains blood.
Children of the Night (Su)
Once per day, a vampire can call forth 1d6+1 rat swarms, 1d4+1 bat swarms, or 2d6 wolves as a standard action. (If the base creature is not terrestrial, this power might summon other creatures of similar power.) These creatures arrive in 2d6 rounds and serve the vampire for up to 1 hour.
Create Spawn (Su)
A vampire can create spawn out of those it slays with blood drain or energy drain, provided that the slain creature is of the same creature type as the vampire’s base creature type. The victim rises from death as a vampire spawn in 1d4 days. This vampire is under the command of the vampire that created it, and remains enslaved until its master’s destruction. A vampire may have enslaved spawn totaling no more than twice its own Hit Dice; any spawn it creates that would exceed this limit become free-willed undead. A vampire may free an enslaved spawn in order to enslave a new spawn, but once freed, a vampire or vampire spawn cannot be enslaved again.
Dominate (Su)
A vampire can crush a humanoid opponent’s will as a standard action (a number of times per day equal to 3+CHA modifier). Anyone the vampire targets must succeed on a Will save or fall instantly under the vampire’s influence, as though by a dominate person spell (caster level 12th). The ability has a range of 30 feet. At the GM’s discretion, some vampires might be able to affect different creature types with this power.
Energy Drain (Su)
A creature hit by a vampire’s slam (or other natural weapon) gains two negative levels. This ability only triggers once per round, regardless of the number of attacks a vampire makes.
Special Qualities: A vampire gains the following:
Change Shape (Su)
A vampire can use change shape to assume the form of a dire bat or wolf, as beast shape II.
Gaseous Form (Su)
As a standard action, a vampire can assume gaseous form at will (caster level 5th), but it can remain gaseous indefinitely and has a fly speed of 20 feet with perfect maneuverability.
Shadowless (Ex)
A vampire casts no shadows and shows no reflection in a mirror.
Spider Climb (Ex)
A vampire can climb sheer surfaces as though under the effects of a spider climb spell.
Ability Scores: Str +6, Dex +4, Int +2, Wis +2, Cha +4. As an undead creature, a vampire has no Constitution score.
Skills: Vampires gain a +8 racial bonus on Bluff, Perception, Sense Motive, and Stealth checks.
Feats: Vampires gain Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, and Toughness as bonus feats.
Mastermind (Su) (CR +0)
Vampires with this ability can have a number of enslaved spawn totaling four times its total Hit Dice. In addition, the vampire chooses one of the following three abilities: clairaudience, clairvoyance, or telepathy. Depending on the ability chosen, the vampire can hear what its spawn hears, see what it sees, or communicate telepathically with it. The vampire may exercise or end its use of this ability as a standard action and maintain its connection to its spawn for as long as it wishes. A vampire may only use this ability with one spawn at a time. The vampire and vampire spawn must be on the same plane for this ability to function. While using this ability, the vampire enters a catatonic state similar to its daily rest and is treated as helpless, though it is alerted to any jarring noises, the presence of any visible creature within 5 feet, or any damage that befalls its body.

+2 to CHA
+6/3 to will saves when able to use emotion component spells (i.e. always, due to Undead Immunities)
+1 Skill Point

Vile Leadership:
Leadership Score: 9+10 (19)
Caligo Genitor, Samsaran Nosferatu Wordcasting Dual-Cursed Oracle 5

Improved Gaseous Form:
When in gaseous form, any opponent that shares a square is affected by mind fog.

Blood Powers: (40 foot range)

Mesmerize – Least Blood Power – You may implant false thoughts or hypnotic suggestions in a Humanoid target's mind.
System: You must lock eyes with the target to enforce your will upon them.
A standard action must be spent to bring the target to bear. If struck by a foe before the end of that standard action, the user must make a Concentration check to hold their victim. At the end of the round, the target must make a Will saving throw DC of 10+the Vampire’s Charisma Bonus +1 for each Ruthvein Blood Power the Vampire has Mastered.
If the target fails the Will save, the Vampire may implant a hypnotic suggestion within the mind of the target.
You plant an idea, concept, or suspicion in the mind of the subject. The target genuinely believes that the idea is his own, but is not required to act upon it. If the idea is contrary to the target’s normal thoughts (such as making a paladin think, "I should murder my friends") the target may suspect mind-altering magic is at play. The idea must be fairly clear, enough so that it can be conveyed in one or two sentences. You do not need to share a common language for the spell to succeed, but without a common language you can only sow the most basic rudimentary ideas.
If the victim fails the save by 10 or more, the Vampire may create a single false memory [the equivalent of a two rounds] in the mind of the victim along with implanting a suggestion.
If a victim makes the Will save they cannot be subject to the effect again for a full 24 hours.
The practitioner may use this power 3x day +1 for each point of Intelligence bonus.
Duration – Until the suggestion ends. The false memory can only be removed via magic.
Note, these commands are delivered telepathically.
Range 30’ +5’ per Blood Power possessed by the practitioner.
Playwright – Lesser Blood Power - You may Rewrite the memories of a Humanoid target.
System: You must lock eyes with the target to enforce your will upon them.
A standard action must be spent to bring the target to bear. If struck by a foe before the end of that standard action, the user must make a Concentration check to hold their victim. At the end of the round, the target must make a Will saving throw DC of 10+the Vampire’s Charisma Bonus +1 for each Ruthvein Blood Power the Vampire has Mastered. If the target fails the Will save, the Vampire may rewrite the memories of the past five minutes of the victim.
If the victim fails the save by 10 or more, the Vampire may create a false memory of up to five minutes in the mind of the victim along with implanting a suggestion.
If the victim fails the save by 10 or more, the Vampire may create a false memory of up to one hour in the mind of the victim.
If the victim fails the save by 15 or more, the Vampire may create a false memory of up to one week in the mind of the victim.
If a victim makes the Will save they cannot be subject to the effect again for a full 24 hours.
The practitioner may use this power 3x day +1 for each point of Intelligence bonus.
Duration –The false memory can only be removed via magic.
Note, these memories are delivered telepathically.
Range 30’ +5’ per Blood Power possessed by the practitioner.


Murnau Ruthven was born in the year 15 AR, in Absalom itself. He grew up watching the wondrous acts of the god Aroden, and in his adult life, he grew to be an ambitious politician, power-hungry and conniving. As the vigor of his youth started to abandon him, he sought out other potential sources of power, realizing that the one thing he could never control was time. Eventually, he found his method, and quietly became a vampire in the year 60 AR, Embraced by the Ruithvein family (perhaps in part due to his last name bearing a striking similarity to their clan's name). He spent a few decades spreading the seeds of vampirism throughout the City at the Center of the World. However, he was eventually discovered and fled the city to rejoin his family (this may have been before the founding of the Jair family). Once there, he spent millennia perfecting his mental powers, creating and freeing spawn, recruiting aid from all manner of creatures. Even undead proved vulnerable to his mental prowess, which was aided by a corrupted samsaran, fallen to vampirism untold eons prior, and a practitioner of an ancient form of necromancy. As the centuries have progressed, Murnau has established a sizable web of informants, spies and servants, though has recently grown restless for adventure.

Murnau looks the part of a vampire, with red eyes, a high collar and cloak, large fangs. He's tall and menacing, with the gray in his hair left unchanged after thousands of years as a vampire. His leather armor is worn underneath his clothing, always immaculate and well-tailored. He carries his wooden shield loosely, ready to be drawn if needed. His whip seems to be a normal whip, with its small metal blades hidden within the leather weaving. He carries a cane of polished ebony, capped with a silver globe, held in a manner that suggests deadly power instead of infirmity.

This is a section I usually include with my characters, explaining out-of-character reasoning for in-character choices. It all has an IC explanation, somehow.

Most of the character is fairly straightforward, given my goal (to create a mastermind controlling-type vampire). I can only imagine the number of aliases I'll have in this game, between cohorts, followers, dominated creatures, spawn, undead (controlled by both Murnau, via affecting undead with class abilities and control undead and Lugos, making tons of undead out of most killed enemies), summoned creatures (mostly from Lugos), and so on. I'm happy to tone it down quite a bit if me controlling dozens of characters is a bit overwhelming.

Murnau's name is something of a reference to two vampires from pop culture. Murnau is the last name of Nosferatu (the first vampire movie)'s director.
Ruthven is taken from Count Ruthven, the first vampire of "modern" vampire stories. I actually didn't realize that the family I had chosen was a reference to the same (it is, isn't it?) until well after the character was underway and mostly built.

Murnau's commanding presence is extreme. He's incessantly trying to control everyone he meets. If he decides to control someone through mundane means (for whatever reason), he can easily convince people of anything he wants, getting them to do anything, subtly manipulating their thoughts and memories until nobody can be trusted. If he decides to use magic, few can stand in his way. There's nothing left of someone's will save after he comes through, between his mind fog gaseous form, ill omen, bold stare, and bestow curse, which makes people roll twice and take the lowest of a -12 will save for several rounds, allowing him to hit them with bestow curse to lower saves even further before dominating them. Really, only vermin and constructs are safe from him. Even that's because he hasn't needed to learn to control them, so he hasn't.

Overall, he's classic horror-story material. The ancient vampire, able to turn friend against ally, make one be betrayed by one's own thoughts and memories, cursing and controlling anyone who tries to attack him while hiding invisibly around a corner, or attacking even while nothing but a mist (psychic spells can be cast even in gaseous form). Classic thriller horror. Nothing can be trusted after an encounter with him, should he even let them remember the meeting. Should he be forced into combat, those he kills rise almost immediately to defend him, forcing allies into combat with their own dead friends, as he attacks and drains, one by one, all his foes of their blood. Manipulative, diplomatic, charming…. Classic sociopath.

Also, it occurred to me while I was creating Caligo that they were kind of like the Emperor and Darth Vader. I put in a few hints and references to that as well. For example, Caligo means "dark" and Genitor means "father" in latin. i.e. Darth Vader.