Vampire Template Graft - Feedback and suggestions welcome.


Homebrew


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

As I've yet to see Paizo officially release a template graft for traditional vampires (yet they got Jiang-Shi!? Come on...) I thought I'd take a crack at making a template graft myself and... well I could use some feedback. On one hand it's accurate but still seems a bit... much for a Starfinder creature. I will probably throw this out once Paizo publishes a proper template graft, but until then may I present to you...

VAMPIRE TEMPLATE GRAFT (CR 5+)
Vampires are undead creatures that feed on the blood of the living. They look much as they did in life, often becoming more attractive, though some have a hardened, feral look instead.
Required Creature Type: Undead.
Suggested Array: Any.
Traits: DR 10/magic and silver; cold resistance 10; electricity resistance 10; fast healing 5; shadowless; vampire weaknesses.
Abilities: Gaseous Form, Blood Drain, spell-like abilities, create spawn, energy drain (slam, 2 levels), Change Shape (nocturnal animal)
Suggested Ability Score Modifiers: Strength, Charisma.

Spell-like abilities:


  • 1/day: Summon Creature 2-4 (spell level as appropriate for the vampire's CR)
  • At Will: Dominate Person
  • Constant: Spider-Climb

Shadowless: Vampires cast no shadow and show no reflection in the mirror.
Vampire Weaknesses: Vampires are held at bay by garlic, 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 object of its revulsion 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. A vampire is staggered on the first round when exposed to direct sunlight, and destroyed on the next consecutive round if it cannot escape. Immersion in running water deals damage to a vampire equal to one-third of its hit points (unless it has a natural swim speed). Driving a wooden stake into a helpless vampire's heart slays it, though it returns to normal once the stake is removed unless the head is severed and anointed with holy water.
Gaseous Form: As a standard action a vampire can turn itself into mist, turning themselves incorporeal and gaining a fly speed of 20ft. (perfect). A vampire cannot attack, cast spells, or use its spell-like abilities in this state nor can can it pass through solid objects, though it can slip through miniscule cracks. A vampire reduced to 0 hit points, instead of being destroyed, automatically assumes a Gaseous Form on its next turn, but loses Fast Healing and must return to its coffin within two hours or be utterly destroyed. After 1 hour of rest in its coffin, during which it lays helpless, the vampire regains its fast healing as normal.
Blood Drain: If a vampire successfully establishes or maintains a pin, it drains blood, dealing 1d4 CON damage and gaining 5 temporary hit points that last for up to 1 hour.
Create Spawn: A creature slain by a vampire's blood drain or energy drain rises from death as a vampire 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 whose total CR is no greater than its CR; 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 cannot be enslaved again.
Change Shape: In addition to the ability's description in the Universal Monster Rules, the vampire has the option to gain a flight speed of 40ft. with good maneuverability, and trades its slam natural attack for a bite natural attack.

Summon Creature: As the summon creature spell, except that the vampire may only know the flying swarm, vermin swarm, and nocturnal predator summoning graft equal to the highest level of the spell the vampire can cast as appropriate for the vampire's CR, as well as three creatures with the nocturnal predator graft from the next lower-level summoning list.


  • Flying Swarm
    Winged insects, winged scavengers, flying mammals, or macabre birds of prey; these flying fiends are brought into being by their summoner to continuously pursue and harry their foes.
    Type: animal (swarm).
    Traits: fly speed of 30 ft. (perfect); darkvision 60ft., blindsense (scent), swarm defense, swarm immunities, distraction, and swarm attack; size becomes tiny or smaller but the swarm itself occupies the same space as the base statblock; reach becomes 0ft.
    Skills: Add stealth and survival
  • Vermin Swarm
    Diseased pests and vermin who scurry after their summoner's foes to clamber upon and devour them, or failing that let disease kill them.
    Type: animal (swarm).
    Traits: Plague (physical disease); darkvision 60ft., blindsense (scent), swarm defense, swarm immunities, distraction, and swarm attack; size becomes tiny or smaller but the swarm itself occupies the same space as the base statblock; reach becomes 0ft.
    Skills: Add stealth and survival
  • Nocturnal Predator
    Animals known to stalk the woods and leap upon unsuspecting prey now called forth at the behest of their summoner to visit the same fate upon their foes.
    Type: animal.
    Traits: Base speed increases to 40 ft.; darkvision 60ft., blindsense (scent); Able to pounce (charge and full attack at -5 penalty instead of -4); if creature beats its target KAC by 8 or more the predator also trips their target.
    Skills: Add stealth and survival


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I feel like template is well overpowered, and should at at least +2 to the final CR rating. You should probably also consider dropping the energy drain.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I might agree; however doing so would severely limit what is probably the most iconic thing about the vampire, that it is a life-feeding predator. I like that energy drain helps translate that into how a vampire can fight. So if removing energy drain, we would need to make the vampire's blood drain more practical in a fight. So how do we do that?


I wonder how shadowless interacts with technology. It might be interesting to say that shadowless means that the image of a vampire is not captured by non-organic, non-magical devices such as telescopes, binoculars, cameras, or video recorders.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nintendogeek01 wrote:
I might agree; however doing so would severely limit what is probably the most iconic thing about the vampire, that it is a life-feeding predator. I like that energy drain helps translate that into how a vampire can fight. So if removing energy drain, we would need to make the vampire's blood drain more practical in a fight. So how do we do that?

Honestly, this is where I say "I never found the energy drain touch to be an iconic or compelling aspect of vampires". It felt more like an arbitrary addition somebody did so that they didn't have to bother with mechanics for blood drinking. The vampire has an arguably-broken enough array of powers as is. They don't need an extra powerful energy drain on top of that.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
S. J. Digriz wrote:
I wonder how shadowless interacts with technology. It might be interesting to say that shadowless means that the image of a vampire is not captured by non-organic, non-magical devices such as telescopes, binoculars, cameras, or video recorders.

I'm gonna cop out and say they don't honestly. That vampires don't cast shadows or reflections is some odd supernatural thing that doesn't necessarily translate to logic. If every mystical aspect of vampires translated to logic then moonlight wouldn't be doing them any favors either.

Metaphysician wrote:
Honestly, this is where I say "I never found the energy drain touch to be an iconic or compelling aspect of vampires". It felt more like an arbitrary addition somebody did so that they didn't have to bother with mechanics for blood drinking. The vampire has an arguably-broken enough array of powers as is. They don't need an extra powerful energy drain on top of that.

And I wouldn't say energy drain is strictly necessary either, all I say is that energy drain is one vehicle by which Pathfinder and other systems represented the predatory aspect of the vampire.

More to the point, we can "bother" now. I've got a few ideas on how we can make blood drain translate to battle.

We could give the slam attack the grab universal creature rule, which would let it cut to the blood-draining bite relatively quickly.

Or maybe we could give the vampire a straight-up bite attack, it'd be simpler but this second method runs the risk of being too easily exploited by full attacks.

Maybe there's something else I'm just not thinking of.


I would ditch the alternate animal forms, but keep the energy drain. There is fictional precedence for both blood drinking and life sucking vampires in space. I would think that the blood drain is necessary to their existence, but the energy drain is just for combat. Some vampires might pass on that in favor of some form of dominate as a gaze attack.

In Spacefinder, vampires might be solid citizens of Eox, and only drink from blood bags, unless that's not an option. Part of a medical bay might be a blood bank, and might have supplies of synthetic blood on hand. They make effective operatives, as normal cameras don't detect them. Neither do infra red cameras. Androids can only see them by virtue of their ghost(the mind and soul that that dwells within their circuits).


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Alright, I've taken a few notes from the Alien Archives creatures so that there's a little less stabbing in the dark and would like to try Vampire Template 2.0!

VAMPIRE TEMPLATE GRAFT (CR 5+)
Vampires are undead creatures that feed on the blood of the living. They look much as they did in life, often becoming more attractive, though some have a hardened, feral look instead.
Required Creature Type: Undead.
Suggested Array: Any.
Traits: DR 10/magic and silver; cold resistance 10; electricity resistance 10; fast healing 5; shadowless; vampire weaknesses.
Abilities: Gaseous Form, Blood Drain, spell-like abilities, create spawn, Deft Claws, Children of the Night, Change Shape (nocturnal animal), Children of the Night
Suggested Ability Score Modifiers: Strength, Charisma.

Spell-like abilities:

  • At Will: Dominate Person
  • Constant: Spider-Climb
Shadowless: Vampires cast no shadow and show no reflection in the mirror.
Vampire Weaknesses: Vampires are held at bay by garlic, 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 object of its revulsion 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. A vampire is staggered on the first round when exposed to direct sunlight, and destroyed on the next consecutive round if it cannot escape. Immersion in running water deals damage to a vampire equal to one-third of its hit points (unless it has a natural swim speed). Driving a wooden stake into a helpless vampire's heart slays it, though it returns to normal once the stake is removed unless the head is severed and anointed with holy water.
Gaseous Form: As a standard action a vampire can turn itself into mist, turning themselves incorporeal and gaining a fly speed of 20ft. (perfect). A vampire cannot attack, cast spells, or use its spell-like abilities in this state nor can can it pass through solid objects, though it can slip through miniscule cracks. A vampire reduced to 0 hit points, instead of being destroyed, automatically assumes a Gaseous Form on its next turn, but loses Fast Healing and must return to its coffin within two hours or be utterly destroyed. After 1 hour of rest in its coffin, during which it lays helpless, the vampire regains its fast healing as normal.
Deft Claws: A vampire's claws gain the Grab Universal Creature Rule and possess the operative special quality.
Blood Drain: If a vampire successfully establishes or maintains a grab, it drains blood, dealing 1d4 CON damage and gaining 5 temporary hit points that last for up to 1 hour.
Create Spawn: A creature slain by a vampire's blood drain rises from death as a vampire spawn in 1d4 days. This vampire spawn is under the command of the vampire that created it, and remains enslaved until its master’s destruction. A Vampire Spawn lacks many of the abilities of a full vampire, only possessing the Deft Claws, Blood Drain, and Spider-Climb SLA. A vampire may have enslaved spawn whose total CR is no greater than its CR; any spawn it creates that would exceed this limit become free-willed vampire with all of its other abilities. A vampire may free an enslaved spawn in order to enslave a new spawn, but once freed, a vampire or cannot be enslaved again.
Change Shape: In addition to the ability's description in the Universal Monster Rules, the vampire has the option to gain a flight speed of 40ft. with good maneuverability, and trades its claw natural attack for a bite natural attack.
Children of the Night: A vampire may use its Dominate Person Spell-like ability on nocturnal predators. Vampires on lost Golarion would use this to command bat swarms, rat swarms, or wolves.

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