Thursday, July 24, 2014

for what is the sun but a hell

Felt like I was beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel with hex descriptions, so here's a palette (EDIT: PALATE! I MEANT PALATE!) cleanser of something tangentially related before I get back to work. 

M E T A L vs S K I N posted this really cool vampire class, and I started thinking about how I would implement something similar. I spent a lot of time trying to fit vampires as PCs and HP and hit dice together when I realized that there are already rules for starvation and dehydration in the LotFP handbook:

"For every 24 hours that a character goes without water, his Constitution drops by half unless he makes a save versus Poison. After three such failed saves against Poison due to a lack of water, the character will be dead. Constitution losses due to dehydration or starvation recover at twice the usual rate with rest and proper nourishment."

Replace "water" with "blood", and assume "rest" involves sleeping in a coffin, and you have the foundation for some pretty easy vampire rules.

VAMPIRE
A class for Lamentations of the Flame Princess
blergh!
HP, Saves and XP as Elf (elves are basically vegetarian vampires with good PR)

Vampires, according to vampires1, are scions of those ancient lords and ladies who claimed the marches between the Lands of the Living and the Lands of the Dead. They fought back the innumerable souls of the departed, and in doing so rejected the tyranny of death, elevating themselves above the mortals around them. 

Vampires, according to the Crown, are to be admired for their pursuit of immortality, and executed for their affinity for proscribed magic2. The Queen applauds the acquisition and hoarding of knowledge, but brooks no threat to the integrity of her realm.

Vampires receive a +1 bonus to their Charisma modifier and can cast spells. Vampires have the same spell slot progression as a Cleric. However, they do not learn or prepare spells--a vampire can expend a spell slot to cast any spell on the vampire list (see below) of equal or lower spell level. Vampires are also naturally stealthy. They start with a 2 in 6 Stealth skill and progress at the same rate as the Elf's Search skill. 

Vampires do not age, breathe, or eat food, and cannot be harmed by poison, venom, or extreme weather. To feed, a vampire must drain blood from a humanoid (human, elf, halfling, or dwarf) victim. Vampire bites reduce a victim's maximum HP by an amount equal to their HD for every round of feeding, which returns at a rate of 1 HP per day. A vampire needs to drain HP equal to their level in blood per 24 hour period to sustain themselves. A vampire can bite successfully grappled enemies with a standard attack. Draining blood does not restore a vampire's HP.

If a vampire is starving, they cannot recover HP in any way until they feed.

Anyone who is reduced to below 0 HP through blood drain must Save vs Magic or rise as undead, with their disposition to the vampire being determined with a Reaction Roll, regardless of their character in life.

When direct sunlight touches a vampire's bare skin, they take d12 damage per Round. PC vampires can be Turned per the Turn Undead spell.

The normal rules for sleep deprivation apply to vampires, but they can only sleep in coffins. Vampires recover d6 HP and their expended spell slots by sleeping for at least 8 hours in a coffin. 




VAMPIRE SPELL LIST

1st Level

Charm Person
Darkness
Feather Fall
Spider Climb

2nd Level

Change Self
Invisibility
Suggestion
Wall of Fog

3rd Level

Army of One
Clairvoyance
Fly
Speak with Dead

4th Level
Charm Monster
Invisibility, Improved
Polymorph Self
Protection from Normal Weapons

5th Level

Animate Dead
Bestow Curse
Telekinesis
True Seeing

6th Level

Animate Dead Monsters
Death Spell
Speak with Monsters
Suggestion, Mass

7th Level

Charm Person, Mass
Control Weather
Remote Surveillance
Unholy Word

1Vampires from Albion, naturally. Vampires from other lands do not possess noble blood, and engage in all sorts of eccentric behavior. The vampires of the Norge swim amongst the glaciers and sup on the cold blood of fish, while the vampires of Columbia converse with the stars from mountaintops. The lamia far to the east hide from the day in the bellies of snakes. The vampires of Carpathia are rumored to be quite mad. In the farthest south, vampires can crawl into dreams and steal what they find therein.

2While the people of New Londinium are famous for their casual disregard for the natural order, there is still a class of spells banned to all, not because they are necessarily dangerous, but because they are the sociological equivalent of a nuclear bomb. Animate Dead isn't something you cast if you are about to eat dinner, but spells like Change Self, Charm Person, Suggestion, and Forget tend to engender massive, baroque, and self-sustaining schemes (e.g. someone uses Suggestion to motivate a magician to cast Suggestion on other magicians, then uses Forget so they have no memory of the encounter. In the Stokesy Incident, the rebellious initiator of such a cycle fell under the magical influence of the victim of his victim's victim, and from that point the interlocking chain of Suggestions and Charm spells becomes so convoluted that some constables still wonder if those apprehended were dupes, arrested only because someone Suggested it to the chief investigator). Therefore, the Queen's agents destroy any copies of these spells they come across, and summarily execute anyone they find in possession of them. This is one of the reasons why vampires are persecuted so much: they can cast these spells without being encumbered with discriminatory spellbooks or scrolls. Once someone encounters a vampire, they can never truly trust their own motivations ever again.
     The Queen has a keen understanding of how effective such magic can be, because 
though she is now Agorath, the Sovereign of Albion and the Divinity of Forbidden knowledge, she once was Nimue. When her tutor Merlin was at the height of his abilities, he retreated to the heart of his sanctum and forged a great Staff of Power. When Nimue came into her own, she used Permanency to enchant herself with Shape Change, Spell Turning, Mind Blank, and Globe of Major Invulnerability, then built a small army of Simulacra. This is why Merlin is in a tree, and she is in a palace.

first image by Alvaro Tapia, distributed under Creative Commons
second image from Boktai 2

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