Vampire Race


Advice


Hey!

Been talking to a friend about pathfinder and she became really interested in the idea of playing a vampire character. I said sure that could be fun but now looking on prd i see there's no rules for vampire characters (at least that i can find). I could use the race building rules but i'm guessing that somebody has done a better job of it than i could achieve already.

Anyone got anything they can suggest?

I'm guessing as a race its quite high powered but that should be alright since it would be a 1 on 1 game. I'm thinking of taking a sandbox approach with her turning into a vampire in her home town and trying to hide it etc... then que the pitchforks!

anyways i look forward to some input from the kindly folks on here :)


It is actually quite easy.

Vampire is not a race. There are human vampires, dwarf vampires, orc vampires, ogre vampires, leprechaun vampires, centaur vampires, unicorn vampires, griffon vampires, etc.

All you need is the Vampire Template. She can begin as any race and class she wants, then she gets bitten by a vampire at which time the template is applied to her - she remains the same race but gains all the benefits and weaknesses that come with being a vampire, all of which are detailed in the template.

Now, if you really want to follow the rules, she will need to have 5 HD (5th level) before this template can be applied to her (this is per the template itself) but as the GM, you can, of course, ignore that and let her start with the template if you want.


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Dhampir are a half-vampire race (think Blade) that are balanced against other core races.


*nods* thanks for the input WC - i've played a dhampir myself but she wants to be "the real deal" (her words lol). She also hates blade :P.

I'll have a gander at the template... could be fun to have the opening scene being her getting bitten... or waking up the next day. :)


GureiKun wrote:

*nods* thanks for the input WC - i've played a dhampir myself but she wants to be "the real deal" (her words lol). She also hates blade :P.

I'll have a gander at the template... could be fun to have the opening scene being her getting bitten... or waking up the next day. :)

The big problem with vampires is they come with a bevy of special abilities. If the campaign doesn't take that into account, it can cause a lot of problems.

That being said, the Vampire template adds 2 to CR. So, [url="http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/monsters/vampire.html#_vampire"]according to core[/core], if she is 1st level you should consider her 3rd level.

A 3rd level chracter with DR 10/magic and silver can blow through most Adventure Paths designed for that level. Just a word of caution.

Edit: Although GureiKun rightly notes she would need at least 5 class levels before being allowed the vampire template.

Shadow Lodge

You might also want to check out Blood of the Night, which covers both true vampire and dhampir PCs.

And remember to check out the undead hunger rules. They're fun.


Hmm hmm the template looks good.

Got a follow up question. Her character concept involves hunting down other vampires to drink thier blood in order to become more powerful (i'm happy to accomodate that rules wise). I'm trying to think what class would be well suited to it.

In terms of backstory she's toying with being a vampire hunter acolyte who got bitten.

Ofcourse... the god that she was an inquisitor of isn't gonna be too chuffed with that. So any idea what gods would support her on her quest for power?

Also i notice the silversmithing ability of vampire hunters and i wonder how that would work given that silver is an anathema to vampires?.. i mean is she risking hurting herself when she does it?


Ranger with Favored Enemy: Undead might be a good place to start. Also, Inquisitor seems well suited (both from historical context and from game mechanics) especially after 5th level with the ability to make her weapon Bane vs. Undead.

Both have their merits. The ranger version seems more combat oriented and the inquisitor version has more skill fluff to spot vampires and see through their disguises and lies, as well as the lies of the various "Renfro" minions who are loyal to the vampires she's hunting, so maybe the choice might be predicated on whether your game will be RP heavy, like the original Dracula novel by Bram Stoker (nearly zero combat, but lots of mystery and suspense) or will be combat heavy (though both of these classes will be good either way).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GureiKun wrote:


Also i notice the silversmithing ability of vampire hunters and i wonder how that would work given that silver is an anathema to vampires?.. i mean is she risking hurting herself when she does it?

It's like handling a weapon that's bane to your own kind.... It's generally not a good idea. Given that she now has a major power boost in being a vampire in the first place, you might want to play it that way even if the RAW Nazis here will scream "That Ain't In the RAW!".


GureiKun wrote:

Hmm hmm the template looks good.

Got a follow up question. Her character concept involves hunting down other vampires to drink thier blood in order to become more powerful (i'm happy to accomodate that rules wise). I'm trying to think what class would be well suited to it.

In terms of backstory she's toying with being a vampire hunter acolyte who got bitten.

Ofcourse... the god that she was an inquisitor of isn't gonna be too chuffed with that. So any idea what gods would support her on her quest for power?

Also i notice the silversmithing ability of vampire hunters and i wonder how that would work given that silver is an anathema to vampires?.. i mean is she risking hurting herself when she does it?

Well, for the Golarion deities, Urgathoa probably would encourage that behavior. I can't imagine Calistria would much care, Zura either. You could even make a case that some of the other "good" gods wouldn't turn their back on her, so long as she's exterminating other vampires and not harming innocents. Really any deity but Pharasma probably could be made to accept her given her other activities, Iomedae or Sarenrae might not want to have her associated with their faith though. Desna, I don't know, if she's legitimately trying to make the night a less scary place, Desna could accept her (though I'm sure she would be watched closely in any good organization.. that might make for interesting RP though)

Out of curiosity, who was she an inquisitor for previous to her transformation?

As to the silversmithing issue, I imagine that she'd need to wear protective clothing (i.e. take a penalty on her craft checks) to work silver.


We RAW Nazis mostly contain our fascism to the Rules Questions threads. Mostly.

Side note, "Bane to your own kind" is safe enough to handle, no penalties or self-inflicted badness, just don't let someone disarm you and use your weapon against you. Now, the aligned weapons (holy, unholy, anarchic, axiomatic) are the ones you don't want to pick up and wield if you're not the right "kind" (alignment).


Whale_Cancer wrote:


That being said, the Vampire template adds 2 to CR. So, [url="http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/monsters/vampire.html#_vampire"]according to core[/core], if she is 1st level you should consider her 3rd level.

CR is completely unrelated to ECL (Effective Character Level). Not sure how the two templates compare, but the original d20srd gives the Vampire Template a level adjustment of +8, meaning she'd be considered a 9th level character.

Note also that, by RAW, a PC cannot have a template. The rules expressly state they are for monsters, and the fact that they reference on CR and LA/ECL is another indication.

Dark Archive

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Working up vampirism as some sort of 'monster class' (using rules from Libris Mortis or something as a guideline?) could be a more balanced way of introducing the abilities of being a vampire. Have the PC start out as freshly bitten, and work off the not-unreasonable-assumption that a 1st level commoner doesn't turn into an 8 HD vampire over eight hours, but might actually take years to 'grow into' full vampiric powers (and that not every vampire 'grows' in the same direction, allowing the PC vampire to choose to focus or channel talents more or less in certain directions, to be better at controlling animals, for instance, but not be able to turn to mist, or to be better at shapeshifting, but not be able to charm / dominate people).

At the lowest level, being a 'vampire' might only give sunlight sensitivity, low-light vision, +2 Str and +2 Cha. As they develop their vampire nature, other abilities like wall-crawling or turning into a bat or even greater attribute modifiers could show up, along with increasing save bonuses vs. things that vampires are normally immune to, rather than just plopping the full undead type and vampire template on a 1st level character and calling it a day.

Phasing in benefits also allows you to phase in, or even entirely bypass, some core vampire drawbacks. Vampires of myth rarely had any problem with sunlight, for instance, that's mostly a movie invention, and could be downplayed to light sensitivity or fatigue + nonlethal damage in direct sunlight as the very hot environmental rules, or similar lesser effects, if you don't want a vampire PC to dictate when the *rest* of the party can operate.

There is a ton of precedent for 'real vampires' that don't all automatically have all of Dracula's powers, in sources like Buffy or 30 Days of Night or whatever. Chop out a lot of superfluous Dracula stuff, or at least phase it in slowly as the vampire 'strengthens her blood' or whatever, and you don't have to worry about a low-level game having to interact with a PC able to create other vampires or dominate everyone in town or turn to mist when reduced to zero hit points, none of which are strictly necessary (or even thematically appropriate!) for a fledgling or newbie vampire. The vampire template is loaded with culture and media-specific crap that doesn't necessarily fit the 'vampires' of myth & folklore *or* the 'vampires' of more modern tales, most of which shun stuff like shapeshifting or turning to mist, and many of which downplay stuff like mind control and even overwrought 'instantly dies in sunlight!' weaknesses.

Just as a new player 'wanting to play a wizard' doesn't mean that you should hand them a character sheet for Gandalf at 1st level, someone 'wanting to play a vampire' needn't be thrown in the deep end and given a PC with powers based on Dracula.


Thats a pretty good point set. I was already thinking of phasing the powers on the template over time, with the full monty being somthing the character would end up with somewhere around level 10.

The increased power would help off balance the fact that she would be the only party member, which handily disposes of worries about her dictating how the rest of the party acts.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Zhayne wrote:
Whale_Cancer wrote:


That being said, the Vampire template adds 2 to CR. So, [url="http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/monsters/vampire.html#_vampire"]according to core[/core], if she is 1st level you should consider her 3rd level.

CR is completely unrelated to ECL (Effective Character Level). Not sure how the two templates compare, but the original d20srd gives the Vampire Template a level adjustment of +8, meaning she'd be considered a 9th level character.

Note also that, by RAW, a PC cannot have a template. The rules expressly state they are for monsters, and the fact that they reference on CR and LA/ECL is another indication.

Let me quote the actual rules, before Zhayne's made up rules confuse anyone.

But first, repeat after me everyone : d20SRD is for 3.5, not for PF. d20SRD is for 3.5, not for PF.

Bestiary - vampire template wrote:


Creating a Vampire
“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.

Bestiary - Monsters as PCs wrote:


Monsters as PCs
Using one of the monsters presented in this book as a character can be very rewarding, but weighing such a character against others is challenging. Monsters are not designed with the rules for players in mind, and as such can be very unbalancing if not handled carefully.

There are a number of monsters in this book that do not possess racial Hit Dice. Such creatures are the best options for player characters, but a few of them are so powerful that they count as having 1 class level, even without a racial Hit Die. Such characters should only be allowed in a group that is 2nd-level or higher.

For monsters with racial Hit Dice, the best way to allow monster PCs is to pick a CR and allow all of the players to make characters using monsters of that CR. Treat the monster's CR as its total class levels and allow the characters to multiclass into the core classes. Do not advance such monsters by adding Hit Dice. Monster PCs should only advance through classes.

If you are including a single monster character in a group of standard characters, make sure the group is of a level that is at least as high as the monster's CR. Treat the monster's CR as class levels when determining the monster PC's overall levels. For example, in a group of 6th-level characters, a minotaur (CR 4) would possess 2 levels of a core class, such as barbarian.

Note that in a mixed group, the value of racial Hit Dice and abilities diminish as a character gains levels. It is recommended that for every 3 levels gained by the group, the monster character should gain an extra level, received halfway between the 2nd and 3rd levels. Repeat this process a number of times equal to half the monster's CR, rounded down. Using the minotaur example, when the group is at a point between 6th and 7th level, the minotaur gains a level, and then again at 7th, making him a minotaur barbarian 4. This process repeats at 10th level, making him a minotaur barbarian 8 when the group reaches 10th level. From that point onward, he gains levels normally.

GMs should carefully consider any monster PCs in their groups. Some creatures are simply not suitable for play as PCs, due to their powers or role in the game. As monster characters progress, GMs should closely monitor whether such characters are disruptive or abusive to the rules and modify them as needed to improve play.

So, as was stated before Zhayne confused us with 3.5 garbage...

You add the CR to their current Level, to get the effective level of the character.

Also note that as they raise up in level, they get a 'freebie' level boost every 3 levels, up to half the CR they lost.

So, it looks like this :

Character Level 1/CR +2 : EL 3
Character Level 2/CR +2 : EL 4
Character Level 3/CR +1 : EL 4
Character Level 4/CR +1 : EL 5
...
Character Level 19/CR +1 : EL 20

Note this is strictly a 'what level party should I be mixed in with' calculation, the EL is. For all intents and purposes though, it's the 'level' you have to be to be a vampire. IE: How much exp you need to be there.


You might want to try:

Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Zara, the Girl Who Died Dreaming (PFRPG)

It includes 5 feats to slowly turn a character into a vampire, and it also includes a dread vampire template to increase a vampires power.


Zhayne wrote:
Whale_Cancer wrote:


That being said, the Vampire template adds 2 to CR. So, [url="http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/monsters/vampire.html#_vampire"]according to core[/core], if she is 1st level you should consider her 3rd level.

CR is completely unrelated to ECL (Effective Character Level). Not sure how the two templates compare, but the original d20srd gives the Vampire Template a level adjustment of +8, meaning she'd be considered a 9th level character.

Note also that, by RAW, a PC cannot have a template. The rules expressly state they are for monsters, and the fact that they reference on CR and LA/ECL is another indication.

You should read my poorly done link.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GureiKun wrote:

Thats a pretty good point set. I was already thinking of phasing the powers on the template over time, with the full monty being somthing the character would end up with somewhere around level 10.

The increased power would help off balance the fact that she would be the only party member, which handily disposes of worries about her dictating how the rest of the party acts.

This actually makes it alot easier. If she is by herself dont worry about all that scaling abilities nonsense, just start her as a level 1 vampire of whatever race suits her (I imagine human). Sure she's somewhere around a CR3 but you dont have to balance her against the rest of the party.

In fact i'd suggest using the Gestalt rules from 3.5. Essentially allowing her to have 2 character classes (especially if one or more of them includes a 'pet' like the druid or summoner).


Maybe I am assuming things here, but the OP gave me the impression that at least the player is very new to Pathfinder, and maybe the GM is new as well. In which case, I might suggest avoiding the Gestalt this time around. The game is not built for it and it makes everything far more confusing for new players than the baseline game (which can be overwhelming by itself).

If my assumption was wrong, then yeah, go for it. But let me just say that Gestalt is not for everyone.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I agree its not for everyone, but for a solo campaign? It kind of is a good idea.

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