Monday, January 8, 2018

So, You Want to Hunt Vampires?

Target for destruction
In D&D one of the most hardest to kill monsters seems to be the vampire. Even the undead sorcerer, the Lich, seems much more straight forward compared to the children of the night. A lich is just a question of finding which canopic he hid his scroll in, or some such. But no, vampires most of the time turn into mist and float back to their coffin (one of many) to regenerate. You have to catch them asleep, stake them, cut their heads off, and leave the carcass into the sun to burn. A vampire has several things that drive them off, but very few things that permanently destroy them. Savage Worlds boils the feat of fighting a bloodsucker down to either hitting them with magic or silver weapons or making a heart strike with a steak. That's fine, but why don't we throw a touch of complexity to Fast, Fun, and Furious? Here are my house rules to fighting & slaying a vampire as answered in a series of question.

Preamble: These questions assume you are fighting a vampire with appropriately magic and/or silver weapons. Mundane weaponry, as usual, merely Shakes a vampire.

E1) I am fighting a Vampire with the heirloom sword my grandfather bequeathed me. This weapon is magical and or silver: Upon incapacitation your prey will transmogrify into a mist-like substance that will immediately fly (Pace 8) back to a coffin that has the vampire's home soil to rest and regenerate. This regeneration process will take hours, depending upon the environment or plane of existence of said vampire. A normal, albeit gothic location, a vampire may require 8 hours to regenerate from the wounds your sword inflicted. A vampire located on a plane of darkness and dread (a demiplane of dread, if you will) may require half of that time. When incapacitated in this manner a vampire may choose which coffin (they have multiples, a valid coffin is one that has home soil). The hunter now has time to find and permanently deal with the Vampire, or grab what they wish from a vampire and go from there.

E2) I am fighting a vampire with an oaken stake. I have managed to make a called shot to the heart (-4 Fighting). What happens now? (Alternate Rule): The vampire gets an immediate Vigor save vs. the total damage done to the heart stake (Note: This is a vulnerable area and gets +4 damage along with rolled damage for the total number). Upon a failure the vampire enters what is known as torpor. In this state the vampire's body shrivels and becomes waxy. The vampire looks very much like a true corpse. Be advised though, though he is truly a corpse now, he is not permanently destroyed. As long as the stake remains in the vampire's heart he will remain in this state until he is either burned by the sun, blessed with holy relics, or some foolish individual (or secret agent working for the vampire) removes the stake. In the event the stake is removed the vampire will immediately turn to mist and return to the nearest coffin to the Vampire. He does not have his choice in coffin if there are multiples in play. The vampire will require a week to several days, depending on plane of existence or the amount of necrotic energy in the air.

A Wooden Stake as mentioned above.
E3) Our party Cleric / Holy Warrior also has several vials of Holy Water on his purpose that he lobbed successfully on the vampire. What happens now?

The Vampire begins takes 2d10 points of damage (the equivalent to a thermal grenade) and must make a d6 roll to see if they catch on fire with 5 or 6 equaling they are then set ablaze. What happens after depends on the environmental situation. Upon incapacitation the vampire must turn to mist and head to the nearest coffin. They do not get a choice in coffin, it must to the closest. A vampire gains ugly burn marks on their body (the GM may choose or roll a location based on the wound mark). There is usually a permanent mark when they have holy water thrown at them.

E4) Our party managed to get a whole bathtub filled with holy water that we pushed the vampire into. What happens now?

A quick note about large pools of water and vampires. Any sufficiently large body of water that gives over the vampire's heart requires a Vigor (-2) to the panicked state in the vampire. If they fail their Vigor check they are paralyzed and submerged until such time they are removed from the surface. This author has yet to interview a vampire to ask the sensation, he imagines that the sensation is the closest to freezing cold that vampire will get to. Now, for the holy water. The water is treated akin to acid or boiling when the vampire is immersed. They take 3d10 damage every round and must make a Vigor (-2) check to try and escape from immersion. They are panicked, and if they manage to escape will turn to mist and return to a coffin. It is advised to said Vampire hunters to grapple and hold the vampire under this holy water, where like his Vigor check, is penalized in trying to escape. A vampire incapacitated under this water will find their flesh boiled off until they are but a skeleton. Please note! A vampiric skeleton could technically serve as a material component for revival by a sinister spellcaster, such as Necromancer. This writer is not suggesting that all vampires have necromancers under their payroll. But it is advised the skeleton is then burned or blessed so it may never rise again.

E5) Using my heirloom katana and after having a duel of fates against this villain, I managed to decapitate the vampire.

A vampire that was not staked, but decapitated turns to mist and returns back to the nearest coffin (they do not get to choose their coffin, they must proceed to their nearest one). There is a 50% chance the vampire's head will be on backwards as the body is quickly put back together again. Extra time is added to the vampire's regeneration time. A normal vampire could require 1 or 2 days. A vampire on a demiplane of dread will require 4 - 8 extra hours to regenerate.

Part holy symbol, part weapon.
E6) I am a cleric or caster of 'the Light' and am using a spell (or Relic) to blast at the fiend.

Spells that incapacitate the vampire turn them to mist and send them to their coffin. Like head decapitation, this adds a period time to regeneration as above. If struck with a true holy relic the vampire may possibly explode and become utterly destroyed.

E7) My hunting team has managed to stake the fiend and even better drag the torpor corpse into direct sunlight.

Congratulations! That smell of burning flesh and that soft, distant scream is that of the fiend being destroyed. A vampire dealt in this manner is utterly destroy and its evil essence is banished to the afterlife. It is advised that the ashes of the fiend to gathered, placed in an urn, and set in a holy reliquary so that said essence can never be used by either agents of evil or some secret servant of the Vampire. This writer advises the party to move quick. If word spreads that a vampire has been slain, all manner of treasure hunters will be quick to scour the castle looking for whatever the vampire managed to collect. Unless this is a modern world, where all the vampire had was the squalid ruins of an apartment that they eeked out a living. At least in that case there is no body you vampire hunters have to explain to the cops.

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