Vampire (Dungeons & Dragons)

Infobox D&D creature


caption=
name=Vampire
alignment= Any evil
type=Undead
subtype=
source=
first=
mythical=
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wizards_image_URL=http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG251.jpg
OGL_stats_URL=http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/monstersTtoZ.html#vampire

In the "Dungeons & Dragons" fantasy role-playing game, the vampire is an undead creature. A humanoid or monstrous humanoid can become a vampire, and looks as it did in life, with pale skin, haunting red eyes, and a feral cast to its features. A new vampire is created when another vampire drains the life out of a living creature.

Publication history

The vampire was one of the earliest creatures introduced in the D&D game.

Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)

The vampire was one of the first monsters introduced in the earliest edition of the game, in the Dungeons & Dragons "white box" set (1974), [Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson. "Dungeons & Dragons" (3-Volume Set) (TSR, 1974)] where they were described simply as powerful undead. Vampires were further detailed in Supplement I: "Greyhawk" (1975).

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)

The vampire appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977), [Gygax, Gary. "Monster Manual" (TSR, 1977)] where it is described as a chaotic evil, night-prowling creature whose powerful negative force drains life energy from victims.

"Dragon" #25 (May 1979) details several vampire variants, including the alp, the anananngel, the asanbosam, the bruxsa, the burcolakas, the catacano, the ch'ing-shih, the ekimmu, the krvopijac, the lobishumen, the mulo, the nosferat, and the vlkodlak. This article was later reprinted in "Best of Dragon, Vol. II" (1981).

The vampiric lizard man appeared in the module "Tomb of the Lizard King" (1982).

The Lankhmar vampire appeared in the module "Swords of Deceit" (1986).

Dracula himself was given AD&D statistics in "Dragon" #126 (October 1987), along with the vrykolaka and great vrykolaka.

Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the vampire, in the "Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set" (1977), [Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974] , edited by J. Eric Holmes. "Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set" (TSR, 1977)] and "Expert Set" (1981 & 1983), [Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974] , edited by Dave Cook. "Dungeons & Dragons Expert Set" (TSR, 1981)] [Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974] , edited by Frank Mentzer. "Dungeons & Dragons Set 2: Expert Rules" (TSR, 1983)] and was also later featured in the "Dungeons & Dragons Game" set (1991), the "Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia" (1991), [Schend, Steven E., Jon Pickens, and Dori Warty (Editors). "Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia" (TSR, 1991)] the "Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game" set (1994), and the "Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game" set (1999). This last set also featured the lesser vampire.

The velya, a relative of the vampire, was introduced in the module "War Rafts of Kron" (1984), and subsequently appeared in the "Creature Catalogue" (1986), and the later "Creature Catalog" (1993). The swamp velya was introduced in the module "Legacy of Blood" (1987).

The nosferatu appeared in the gazetteers "Grand Duchy of Karameikos" (1987) and "Principalities of Glantri" (1987), and in the "Creature Catalog" (1993).

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)

The vampire appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989), which also introduced the Eastern vampire. [Cook, David, et al. "Monstrous Compendium Volume One" (TSR, 1989)] The standard vampire and the Eastern vampire are reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993). [Stewart, Doug, ed. "Monstrous Manual" (TSR, 1993)]

Variants for the standard vampire and the Eastern vampire in the Spelljammer campaign setting were detailed in the supplement "Crystal Spheres" (1990).

The lidevic appeared in "Dragon" #158 (June 1990).

The nosferatu vampire for the Ravenloft setting appeared in the "Ravenloft: Realm of Terror" boxed set (1990), and later appeared in "Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendix III: Creatures of Darkness" (1994), and Van Richten's Monster Hunter's Compendium (1999). Several vampire variants appeared in "Monstrous Compendium Ravenloft Appendix" (1991), including the dwarf vampire, the elf vampire, the gnome vampire, the halfling vampire, and the kender vampire; these creatures were reprinted in "Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium I & II" (1996). The Eastern vampire (or mayonaka) appeared in "Monstrous Compendium Ravenloft Appendix II" (1993). The illithid vampire (or athaekeetha) also appears in "Monstrous Compendium Ravenloft Appendix II", and later in "Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium I & II" (1996). "Thoughts of Darkness" (1992), and the "Illithiad" (1998). The oriental vampire and the drow vampire appeared in "Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendix III: Creatures of Darkness". The cerebral vampire was introduced in "Bleak House: The Death of Rudolph van Richten" (1996), and then appeared in "Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four" (1998).

The vampire of the Mystara campaign setting was detailed in "Night of the Vampire" (1994). The velya and swamp velya returned in the "Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix" (1994). The nosferatu for the Savage Coast setting appeared in the "Savage Coast Monstrous Compendium Appendix" (1996).

"Dragon" Annual #1 (1996) details several undead variants, including the aswang (ghast), the baobhan sith (doppleganger), the civatateo (mummy), the dubbelsauger (ghoul), the eretica (hag), the fravashi (succubus), the gayal (wraith), the hannya (wight), the impudulu (zombie lord), the jigarkhor (wight), the kuei (skeleton), the lemure (spectre), the moroli (wight), the nelapsi (vampire), the ohyn (goblin), the pelesit (monkey), the qarlak (wight), the ramanga (zombie), the stregoni (vampire), the tlacique (spectre), the ustrel (goblin), the vetala (wraith), the wurdalak (lycanthrope), the xloptuny (wight), the yara-ma-yha-sho (lizard man), and the zmeu (ghost).

Three unique vampires for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting appeared in "Dragon" #236 (November 1996): Morg; Saed, Beast Chieftain of Veld; and Saestra Karanok.

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)

The vampire appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000) as a template. [Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. "Monster Manual" (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)]

The hopping vampire appeared in "Oriental Adventures" (2001). [Wyatt, James. "Oriental Adventures (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)]

The drider vampire appeared in "City of the Spider Queen" (2002) for the Forgotten Realms.

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)

The vampire appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003), along with the elite vampire.

The moonbane vampire, the persuasive vampire, the psychic vampire, the savage vampire, and the swarmform vampire appeared in "Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead" (2004). [Collins, Andy, and Bruce R. Cordell. " (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)]

The vampire mind flayer appears in "Lords of Madness" (2005). [Baker, Rich, James Jacobs, and Steve Winter. (Wizards of the Coast, 2005)]

The Kasian vampire, the savage vampire, the shadow vampire and the terror vampire appeared in "Dragon" #348 (October 2006).

Two unique vampires, Black Duke and Red Widow appeared in "Monster Manual V" (2007).

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)

The vampire appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008). [Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. "Monster Manual" (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)]

Description

A vampire can be of any evil alignment, and if its alignment was not evil in life it becomes so in undeath. A vampire retains all the abilities it had in life, plus it gains the ability to drain blood and life energy, and to dominate other creatures with its gaze. A vampire can also command rats, bats, and wolves, or take the form of those creatures.

Some vampires worship the god Kanchelsis.

Variant Vampires

*Moonbane Vampire - a vampire vulnerable to the light of the full moon.
*Monstrous Vampire - a non-humanoid vampire.
*Persuasive Vampire - uses the power of its speech to sway opinions of listeners.
*Psychic Vampire - drains a victim's mental strength rather than physical health.
*Savage Vampire - rely on brute force and hunt in packs.
*Swarmform Vampire - can assume the form of a swarm of creatures.
*Vampiric Dragon - vampiric dragon forever anchored to its hoard, much like a normal vampire craves its coffin. It can overcome this weakness though through the use of magical trinkets, such as chokers, wrist bands and other pieces of jewelry that contains their entire horde. Most notable of these was Brimstone the Smoke drake's great diamond choker which allowed him to travel any length from his lair whenever he wanted so long as it was at night.

Vampires in Oriental Adventures

*Hopping Vampire - Arises when a body is buried improperly or in an inauspicious location.

*Pennaggolan - A floating head, with entrails and intestines hanging down from the neck, which it can wrap around throats and limbs to squeeze the life out of its victims before feeding on their blood.

Notable Vampires

*Strahd von Zarovich of the Ravenloft Campaign Setting.

*Union of Eclipses - A powerful and influential cabal of vampires whose dominion spans multiple worlds of the Material Plane.

*Vlad Tolenkov - A sometimes consort to and advisor of Lolth, he resides in a Nightmare World trapped in the Demonweb Pits.

References

Additional reading

*Collins, Andy, James Wyatt, and Skip Williams. "Draconomicon (Wizards of the Coast, 2003).
*Jacobs, James, Erik Mona, and Ed Stark. "" (Wizards of the Coast, 2006).
*Terrazino, Joseph R. "Bazaar of the Bizarre: Vampire Slayer's Toolbox." Dragon #288 (Paizo, 2001).


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