Vampire (Dungeons & Dragons)
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In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the vampire is an undead creature. A humanoid or monstrous humanoid creature 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.
- 1 Publication history
- 1.1 Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)
- 1.2 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)
- 1.3 Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)
- 1.4 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)
- 1.5 Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)
- 1.6 Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)
- 1.7 Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-2014)
- 2 Description
- 3 Vampire Spawn
- 4 Variant Vampires
- 5 Vampires in Oriental Adventures
- 6 Notable Vampires
- 7 Reception
- 8 Other publishers
- 9 References
- 10 Additional reading
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), where they were described simply as powerful undead. Vampires were further detailed in Supplement I: Greyhawk (1975).
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)
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).
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), and Expert Set (1981 & 1983), and was also later featured in the Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1991), the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (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).
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)
The vampire appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989), which also introduced the Eastern vampire. The standard vampire and the Eastern vampire are reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).
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 and Mayonaka appear in Monstrous Compendium Ravenloft Appendix II (1993). The illithid vampire and Athaekeetha appear 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)
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 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 (2008-2014)
Dragon Annual 2009 and Dragon Magazine 371 also had the Vampire Bloodline, a series of feats.
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. They also become superhumanly strong, can heal quickly or even regenerate, and can turn into a gaseous form.
Some vampires worship the god Kanchelsis.
In the Dungeons and Dragons game, the vampire spawn are undead creatures created when a vampire slays a mortal in a way other than with its bite. Vampire spawn look much the way they did in life (they are usually humanoids), except with hardened features and a predatory look. They also have greyer skin.
Vampire spawn are similar in their habits to vampires, being evil creatures drawn to their graves and coffins. They are much more brutish, stupid and while still strong, are physically weaker than vampires; they are more intelligent than the average human. They cannot turn into a bat, dire bat, wolf, or dire wolf and they cannot summon rats, bats or wolves. Vampire spawn are unable to create spawn of their own. They attack by hammering opponents against walls, punching them, and tearing out their limbs. They can both energy drain, and suck the blood with a bite. Their mere gaze drains the victim of confidence, courage, energy, hope and joy. Vampire spawn have the ability to assume a gaseous form[original research?]. They can also climb upon walls in the manner of a spider. Vampire spawn are, however, also vulnerable to all normal attacks and spells which repel vampires.
Vampire spawn speak Common. They can be of any evil alignment.
- 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 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.
- Penanggalan - 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.
- Strahd von Zarovich originally of the I6:Ravenloft adventure module and later made part 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.
- Drelzna - The vampire daughter of the archmage Iggwilv, she was trapped in stasis as the guardian of the main treasure in The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.
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- Gygax, Gary and Robert Kuntz. Supplement I: Greyhawk (TSR, 1975)
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
- Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson , edited by J. Eric Holmes. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1977)
- Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson , edited by Dave Cook. Dungeons & Dragons Expert Set (TSR, 1981)
- Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson , edited by Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 2: Expert Rules (TSR, 1983)
- Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
- Slavicsek, Bill. Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game (TSR, 1999)
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- Pickens, Jon, ed. Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four. (TSR, 1998)
- Nephew, John, Teeuwynn Woodruff, John Terra, and Skip Williams. Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR, 1994)
- Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
- Wyatt, James. Oriental Adventures (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
- Wyatt, James. City of the Spider Queen (TSR, 2002)
- Collins, Andy, and Bruce R. Cordell. Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
- Baker, Rich, James Jacobs, and Steve Winter. (Wizards of the Coast, 2005)
- Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
- Jacobs, James, Rob McCreary, and F. Wesley Schneider. Classic Horrors Revisited (Paizo, 2009)