Vampires without Energy Drain


Homebrew and House Rules

Liberty's Edge

Never been a huge fan of Energy Drain/Level Drain for vampires. Traditionally, vampires are about blood, not "Level Loss".

So I'm thinking of taking out Energy Drain from the Vampire and Vampire Spawn, but I'm wondering how it will affect the CR.

Sovereign Court

Besides making them sparkle thus induce squeals of delight in some % of the population and uncontrollable vomiting in the rest?

In lieu of Energy Drain, you can have that special attack replaced with Con damage. You can differentiate between the power level of the vampires and spawn by adjusting the DC. If its an effective attack, I wouldn't think you need to adjust the CR at all.


I would drop the CR by 1. That energy is annoying/awesome depending on which side of it you are on. It is really what makes them so dangerous. The CR might even drop by 2. They can drain con with a pin, but they don't have grappling abilities unless it is given to them, and even if they grapple they have to worry about the rest of the party.


Replace energy drain and slam with a bite or claw attack that deals a massive amount of bleed damage, like 1 per HD, and heals the vampire. No real change in CR then.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think if you remove the energy drain your going to see them be seriously, weakened. I would consider adding a con drain ability, that gives them the equivalent of a barbarian rage +Str/+hp (being undead they don't have con) and add some grappling feats. To differentiate between spawn/master you could use the the greater rage vs normal rage.

If you want to go further mechanically with the classic vampire, in the original Dracula, anyone who was sucked pretty much woke up the next morning fatigued/exhausted. So you could add that condition as well.

If you go this root the vampire really becomes the kind of villain who attacks while they rest, attempting to sneak in and charm/enthrall who ever is on watch. Drain them and escape, or if the party wakes, fight while in a powered up state.


Vampires' energy drain could go away and either reduce CR by 1 or not at all, depending upon the other circumstances of the encounter. Generally speaking, they're nasty enough that the energy drain won't make them that much easier to fight.


I done these types of mods before in all the editions I've played.

I like giving my Vamp Villains unique Dark Gifts suited to what they do and give their spawn weaker versions of those gifts.

I've taken away Energy Drain and given much higher strength scores with the ability to use the Hurl feat, or really fast and a high Dex.

And it keeps the party on their toes as they just don't know what to expect.

Grand Lodge

Veldan Rath wrote:

I done these types of mods before in all the editions I've played.

I like giving my Vamp Villains unique Dark Gifts suited to what they do and give their spawn weaker versions of those gifts.

I've taken away Energy Drain and given much higher strength scores with the ability to use the Hurl feat, or really fast and a high Dex.

And it keeps the party on their toes as they just don't know what to expect.

I only ever used energy drain for Vamps when they were in a position to drain blood from the victim (ie after a grapple) but I can see some appeal in Con drain as well. Give them something else and they should be good at the same CL.

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