Friday, October 30, 2009
Vampires – Ara’s Dark Masters
As I revealed in a previous post, vampires have always scared me a great deal, and I think of them as extremely powerful, evil, and cunning foes. So in the Lands of Ara, with very few exceptions, vampires are the most powerful and dreaded evil creatures to be found in the region.
Arandish vampires are in fact ancient necromantic magic-users and/or chaotic clerics who participated in the centuries-past Old War between Achelon and Telengard. At the end of the Old War, these necromancers were imprisoned in the Spire of Mornlyn by Arlon the Wise and Sarkon of Telengard. Unfortunately, the imprisoned wizards figured out how to preserve themselves forever as evil undead beings, and subsequently escaped imprisonment in Mornlyn to roam Ara by night as vampires, seeking dire vengeance upon humankind.
Thus Arandish vampires are really more akin to liches from AD&D (see Monster Manual p. 61): ancient, incredibly powerful evil sorcerers turned undead by force of their own will. In terms of game statistics, I treat an Arandish vampire like a hybrid of a D&D vampire and a D&D lich.
Arandish Vampire (Undead Necromancer)
# Encountered: 1 (1)
Move: 120’ (40’), Fly: 180’ (60’)
Attacks: 1 touch (see below)
Damage: 1d10, drain life energy
Hoard Class: XVII
Arandish vampires borrow from D&D liches the following characteristics and special abilities:
Arandish vampires never have less than 11 HD.
Arandish vampires are at least 18th Level magic-users and/or clerics (often both).
Arandish vampires cause fear in all beings of 5th Level (or 5 HD) and lower.
The following spells / attack forms have no effect on Arandish vampires: charm, sleep, enfeeblement, polymorph, cold, electricity, insanity or death spells/symbols.
Besides these enhancements, Arandish vampires otherwise behave as standard D&D vampires (see Labyrinth Lord pp. 101), with the same aversions to garlic, running water, etc.
I may use the standard D&D vampire (see Labyrinth Lord pp. 101) for select purposes, like when characters and other beings get bitten and turned vampiric – a kind of lesser vampire type always enslaved to a Vampire master. But those will be relatively rare, as Arandish vampires are particularly megalomaniacal and do not tend to create much vampire spawn with whom they must share feeding grounds – they prefer lesser, non-vampiric undead minions and servants.