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There are a number of different breeds of creature that are all loosely categorized under the term "vampire," mostly because they all derive sustenance and power from drinking human blood. Vampires are usually a type of undead, ranging from specific types of demonic possession to mystically immortal beings who transform their bodies through blood sorcery. Generally, nearly all vampires are unaging, physically powerful, and possess various bestial traits, such as fangs that they use to feed on their victims.
Major Factions Edit
The Black Court is made up of primarily the undying corpse class of vampire; however, until the early 21st Century they were ruled by the Order of Aurelius, a house of demonic undead vampires. They are known for their magical prowess and working mainly through proxies and other agents. Since the death of their former leader, The Master, they are based out of various strongholds across the world, lacking any central base of power, and are ruled by whomever is strong enough to dominate the others at any given time.
The Dragon Court is made up primarily of classical vampires, known for old world ways, blood sorcery, and a strong clan structure. Their major bloodlines include House Dracula, House Karnstein, House Bathory, and House Ruthven. They are based primarily in Europe, currently ruled by House Dracula based out of Transylvania.
The Jade Court is made up of multiple varieties of vampire, including the living immortal variety of vampire. Tending to keep to themselves, they have few dealings with outsiders or the other courts. They also include a number of demonic undead and other, lesser known groups. They lack a central authority and are based primarily out of Asia.
The Red Court is made up of only the masked monster variety of vampire. They have as rigid a political structure as the Dragon Court, though they are much more "New World" and have less reputation for honor and scruples, known for lies and scheming. They are based out of South America and ruled by the Red King.
The White Court is made up of only the psychic predator variety of vampire. While the Red Court is known for scheming and the Black Court known for working through proxies, the White Court has raised both to an art form. No one plays social games as they do. With a strong house structure, they are organized in a similarly feudal manner to the Dragon Court and currently ruled by House Raith, based out of North America.
Major varieties of vampire include:
The Classical Vampire Edit
- Source: Varied
These classic "Dracula" style vampires are mystically empowered undead, a human who is transformed into an immortal blood-drinker. These vampires are true undead, the soul bound to the body, and tend to be sensitive to sunlight, usually repulsed by displays of spiritual faith, and often have an aptitude for blood sorcery. They can usually be incapacitated by a wooden stake in the heart or killed via decapitation. Most are weakened by sunlight, which may either incinerate or only weaken them based on their individual strength and specific bloodline. On a case-by-case basis, they may have classic vulnerabilities and flaws, such as lacking a reflection, being harmed by holy water, or being repulsed by garlic. They are often capable of powerful blood magic and may also have potent psychic abilities, such as hypnosis. New vampires are usually made by replacing all of their blood with vampire blood, such as bleeding a victim to the edge of death, then feeding them a few drops of vampire blood, after which they develop a compulsion to feed.
The Demonic Undead Edit
- Source: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer (External link: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vampires)
These "vampires" are demonically possessed corpses; a recently dead human is exposed to vampire blood, allowing a demonic spirit to meld with the body. The demon absorbs the memories and identity of the former human while casting the human's soul to drift into the aether, where it is unable to manifest as a ghost or transition to an afterlife. These vampires are repelled and burned by holy symbols, are combustible in sunlight, are highly vulnerable to fire, burn when touched by holy water, are repulsed by garlic, and can be killed by wooden stakes to the heart or decapitation. They generally show a strong aptitude for ritual magic, and they retain any psychic powers they had during life in their undead form. They exhibit the power to 'feed' on the power of other beings by drinking their blood, giving them a powerful adrenaline rush equal to the blood they just drank or a basic increase in power, whichever is better. One highly distinctive characteristic is that they dissolve into dust upon final death. New vampires are made by forcing a dying or recently dead human to imbibe vampire blood.
The Living Immortals Edit
- Source: Supernatural (External link: Supernatural Vampires)
This variety of vampire doesn't technically die, so much as they are transformed. Despite not being technically undead, however, they have the same unaging immortality as most other vampires. They are sensitive to sunlight to a lesser degree than most vampires; it only causes them severe sunburns, but they do tend to become weaker and more drowsy during daylight. They are also not vulnerable to many of the classic defenses against vampires, such as holy symbols, staking, or similar. They are severely weakened by contact with the blood of the dead, however, and can be killed by beheading. In rare cases, they can be cured by powerful arcane rituals, having their humanity restored. They have no specific enhanced aptitude for magic or psychic talents, nor any specific lack of such ability. New vampires are made by feeding a human vampire blood, and when the infected makes its first kill, it is transformed into a living vampire.
The Masked Monsters Edit
- Source: The Dresden Files (External link: Red Court Vampires)
Red court vampires are characterized most obviously by the extent of their physical transformation. After being turned, they become monstrous, bat-like creatures who are able to produce a "flesh mask" that makes them look like their former mortal selves. They are physically powerful and quite fast with strong regenerative powers, and they produce a specialized venom that acts as a powerful narcotic. While often able to learn magic, they are not known for psychic talents. While they are not vulnerable to holy sigils, they are severely burned by sunlight, are vulnerable to fire, are extremely weakened by crossing thresholds, and can be severely weakened by being cut in the belly, which causes them to lose the blood that fuels them. They can be killed via sufficient physical trauma. New vampires are made by feeding a human vampire blood, and when the infected makes its first kill, it is transformed into a monster within a flesh mask.
The Undying Corpses Edit
- Source: The Dresden Files (External link: Black Court Vampires)
Black court vampires are characterized by their corpse-like appearances, and they older they become, the more desiccated and inhuman they become. Despite their frail, lightweight frames, they possess typical enhanced vampiric strength and speed. They are commonly capable with magic, though few are known to become highly proficient; they are more known for a measure of psychic power, allowing them to create thralls to do their bidding. They cause an aura of cold around themselves and stink of old blood and rotten flesh. They suffer from all of the classic vampiric weaknesses--garlic, tokens of faith, sunlight, running water, fire, decapitation--except for staking, and they are extremely weakened by crossing thresholds. Only the most powerful can resist sleeping during the day, and even they are greatly diminished in power during this time. They turn their victims in the usual way, feeding their blood to a human on the verge of death.
The Psychic Predators Edit
- Source: The Dresden Files (External link: White Court Vampires)
White Court vampires are known for their otherworldly beauty and the powerful sway they can have over the emotions of others, particularly mortals. The White Court do not drink blood. Instead, they inspire strong emotions and then absorb them, along with portions of their victims' life force. Once turned, they gain enhanced physical traits, though their main asset is the psychic powers to which they are inclined. They show no particular enhanced aptitude for magic, however. They do not have any specific vulnerabilities akin to other vampires, though they are more susceptible to general physical trauma than most other types. Each family of the White Court specializes in a emotion, such as lust or fear, but they are vulnerable to the opposite--such as love or hope--so that they cannot affect one embodying it, and the touch of such a person can even burn them. They are notably weakened by crossing thresholds. Vampires of the White Court are born, not made. Some time after adolescence, they begin to experience a strong draw to feed on the emotions of others. The first feeding is always fatal for the victim, and after that feeding the vampire has fully bonded with a kind of demon called a "Hunger," which is the source of their powers. If they can resist the Hunger and never feed, they are able to remain human.
General Characteristics Edit
Empowered Physique Edit
Most vampires have some measure of enhanced physical prowess. The exact measure may vary with the individual and variety, but for the game purposes they, for the most part, fall broadly into the same approximate template for their powers.
- Enhanced-level Strength
- Enhanced-level Agility
- Enhanced-level Toughness
- Enhanced-level Regeneration
- Enhanced-level Senses
Fangs and Venom Edit
Vampires usually have fangs that rate as Enhanced-level weapons. In some cases they may have claws of that sort, too. In many cases, Vampires also possess fangs, which may have Basic-level to Enhanced-level venom, with effects that range from the narcotic to the paralytic.
Vampires, whether by dint of specialized venom or by sharing blood, have various methods to transform humans into more of their own kind. This usually involves the vampire biting the mortal, though the details vary: Some vampires transform with a simple bite, others have to exsanguinate the victim and then feed them some of their own blood. Some can use their blood to affect a victim without actually fully transforming them, creating blood slaves that are sometimes called "Renfields," more than human but less than vampires.
Vampiric Gifts Edit
Vampiric gifts range widely, but they tend to be either an enhancement of an extant vampiric power or some sort of psychic or magical power. Most commonly, these gifts are of the Enhanced level, though exceptionally potent vampires may have gifts that reach the Supernatural level. Common examples follow:
- Hypnotism and mental influence
- Personal transformation (as into a bat, wolf, or more exotic shape)
- Extreme travel speed (such as via running or flight)
- Blood sorcery and ritual magic
Vampires may have a number of common weaknesses.
Some vampires are destroyed near-instantly by sunlight, while others are merely weakened by it. Some sub-species are not harmed by sunlight at all.
Many vampires are vulnerable to a stake, often wooden, through the heart. This may kill them, or it may only render them weakened temporarily, depending on the sub-species.
Many vampires are highly flammable and can be destroyed by setting them on fire.
Most vampires will be rendered permanently dead if they are decapitated, despite their various powers.
Many vampires are repelled or caused great pain by demonstrations of deep personal faith or brandishing of holy symbols, especially if the bearer believes in that symbol. They may also be weakened upon or unable to enter holy ground.
Vampires may suffer from any number of odd mystic quirks, such as being unable to cross a threshold uninvited, being acutely allergic to garlic, having no reflection in mirrors, or being unable to cross running water.
Unusual Weaknesses Edit
Some strains of vampire have certain unique weaknesses, such as being very vulnerable to the bites of werewolves, which can give them the equivalent of a debilitating illness. Other varieties find the blood of certain other supernaturals, such as werewolves, to be highly toxic.