Polymorphed Vampire


Rules Questions


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What abilities does a vampire keep when polymorphed using an external effect, such as alter self? From my understanding, they would lose everything except their Children of the Night ability. It could also be argued that they lose their weakness to sunlight, cast a shadow, and so on.

So, in other words, which (if any) of the following abilities does a vampire keep during a polymorph effect?

Weaknesses, Blood Drain, Children of the Night, Create Spawn, Dominate, Energy Drain, Change Shape, Gaseous Form, Shadowless, Spider Climb.

Also, bonus question: does a polymorphed creature lose their fast healing and energy resistance?


They would keep most of that, or not, depending on the GM.

Under my interpretation, blood drain would be lost because it requires fangs, which are a physical trait that has been removed by the change in shape. Everything else would be good to go.


You would not be able to use Change Shape, as it is a polymorph effect. You can no be affected by more than one polymoprh effect at once. Blood Drain I would say depends on the form you change to. The rest are fine, as none depend on form or are polymorhs.


Poison Dusk wrote:
You would not be able to use Change Shape, as it is a polymorph effect. You can no be affected by more than one polymoprh effect at once. Blood Drain I would say depends on the form you change to. The rest are fine, as none depend on form or are polymorhs.
Quote:
You can only be affected by one polymorph spell at a time. If a new polymorph spell is cast on you (or you activate a polymorph effect, such as wild shape), you can decide whether or not to allow it to affect you, taking the place of the old spell. In addition, other spells that change your size have no effect on you while you are under the effects of a polymorph spell.

Emphasis mine.


PRD polymorph rules wrote:
While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed.

Emphasis added. Here's how I would GM it.

Weaknesses: yes, you retain these, because they are not tied to your physical form. A goblin vampire and a dwarf vampire both burn in the sun and can't stand garlic.

Blood Drain: you need your fangs to do this. It goes.

Children of the Night: does not depend on form. Stays.

Create Spawn: the ability itself does not go away, but since you're losing your slam attack and your fangs, you have no way to put someone in a position to use it.

Dominate: is a purely mental ability. Stays.

Energy Drain: is triggered by your slam attack. Alter Self doesn't grant a slam attack, and the forms you would adopt don't have one. So it goes.

Change Shape: Stays. It would be dumb to lose the ability that allowed you to change shape every time you changed shape. Either you'd wind up stuck in whatever form you adopted, unable to shift back, or else you'd immediately shift back as soon as you lost the Change Shape ability. The only sensible ruling is that you keep it, subject to the ordinary rule that you can't be under more than one polymorph effect at a time.

Gaseous Form: This does not depend on your physical form. In fact it's rather the opposite. Stays.

Shadowless: Stays.

Spider Climb: Strictly a judgement call on this, but I'm going to go with "Stays", because vampires are simply described in literature as being able to climb up and down smooth surfaces, but do not have any obvious physical means of doing so.


Okay, thanks everyone. I was discussing with my GM how it would interact.

Though, would Energy Drain stay? It does say

PRD wrote:
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.

(Emphasis mine)

So, would a natural attack in a different form still trigger the drain?


Daedalus the Dungeon Builder wrote:

Okay, thanks everyone. I was discussing with my GM how it would interact.

Though, would Energy Drain stay? It does say

PRD wrote:
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.

(Emphasis mine)

So, would a natural attack in a different form still trigger the drain?

1. The vampire template can be applied to any living creature regardless of form.

2. Polymorph does not remove templates, types, or subtypes

If the vampire has natural weapons in it's polymorphed form, it can use those natural weapons to deliver it's special attacks.

The vampire itself does this when assuming the form of a wolf or dire bat.


Snowlilly wrote:
Daedalus the Dungeon Builder wrote:

Okay, thanks everyone. I was discussing with my GM how it would interact.

Though, would Energy Drain stay? It does say

PRD wrote:
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.

(Emphasis mine)

So, would a natural attack in a different form still trigger the drain?

1. The vampire template can be applied to any living creature regardless of form.

2. Polymorph does not remove templates, types, or subtypes

If the vampire has natural weapons in it's polymorphed form, it can use those natural weapons to deliver it's special attacks.

The vampire itself does this when assuming the form of a wolf or dire bat.

1. Polymorph spells cannot assume the shape of a creature with a template added.

2. It doesn't? Huh. I thought it did. Any chance you might point me to where you find this? That would be useful to present to my GM.

Thanks.


Daedalus the Dungeon Builder wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Daedalus the Dungeon Builder wrote:

Okay, thanks everyone. I was discussing with my GM how it would interact.

Though, would Energy Drain stay? It does say

PRD wrote:
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.

(Emphasis mine)

So, would a natural attack in a different form still trigger the drain?

1. The vampire template can be applied to any living creature regardless of form.

2. Polymorph does not remove templates, types, or subtypes

If the vampire has natural weapons in it's polymorphed form, it can use those natural weapons to deliver it's special attacks.

The vampire itself does this when assuming the form of a wolf or dire bat.

1. Polymorph spells cannot assume the shape of a creature with a template added.

2. It doesn't? Huh. I thought it did. Any chance you might point me to where you find this? That would be useful to present to my GM.

Thanks.

Read through the polymorph rules. While templates may not be added, nothing in the polymorph rules removes existing templates or changes the targets type.

It is a case of the spell only does what the rules say it does.


Snowlilly wrote:
Daedalus the Dungeon Builder wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Daedalus the Dungeon Builder wrote:

Okay, thanks everyone. I was discussing with my GM how it would interact.

Though, would Energy Drain stay? It does say

PRD wrote:
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.

(Emphasis mine)

So, would a natural attack in a different form still trigger the drain?

1. The vampire template can be applied to any living creature regardless of form.

2. Polymorph does not remove templates, types, or subtypes

If the vampire has natural weapons in it's polymorphed form, it can use those natural weapons to deliver it's special attacks.

The vampire itself does this when assuming the form of a wolf or dire bat.

1. Polymorph spells cannot assume the shape of a creature with a template added.

2. It doesn't? Huh. I thought it did. Any chance you might point me to where you find this? That would be useful to present to my GM.

Thanks.

Read through the polymorph rules. While templates may not be added, nothing in the polymorph rules removes existing templates or changes the targets type.

It is a case of the spell only does what the rules say it does.

However, it does say that all supernatural and extraordinary abilities based on form do go away. This would presumably include most abilities from templates.


Daedalus the Dungeon Builder wrote:


However, it does say that all supernatural and extraordinary abilities based on form do go away. This would presumably include most abilities from templates.

Not at all, because templates don't change physical form.

Look at the vampire template. If can be applied equally to any living creature regardless of physical form. It does not matter if the recipient is human, elf, or a giant squid.

All receive full benefit from the abilities granted by the vampire template - which itself grants the creature the ability to polymorph itself.

The opposing position is, as soon as the vampire uses Change Shape (i.e. Beast Form II) on itself, it removes its own vampire template.


In a sense, yes. That's the problem. They maintain the ability to change their shape, yes, but what do they lose? For counterexample, the Nosferatu's Swarm Shape ability says it loses the special attacks from being a vampire. Now I know that's a different scenario, but it's strange that one vampire's transformation takes away abilities while the other's let it keep them.


Daedalus the Dungeon Builder wrote:
In a sense, yes. That's the problem. They maintain the ability to change their shape, yes, but what do they lose? For counterexample, the Nosferatu's Swarm Shape ability says it loses the special attacks from being a vampire. Now I know that's a different scenario, but it's strange that one vampire's transformation takes away abilities while the other's let it keep them.

It is just an example of specific > general.

In general abilities granted by type, subtype, or template won't be affected. Just as abilities granted by class won't be affected even if purely physical in nature.

The type, subtype, template, class ability, etc. are applied to the new form. In the case of the vampire, using Beast Shape II to assume the form of a wolf just means you have a wolf with the vampire template.


It seems I have been corrected. I really need to stop posting in such a hurry at the end of the work day.


Huh. Okay then. I'll present this to my GM.
Thanks everyone.

Though, what about Energy resistance, DR, and fast healing?

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