The King is Dead

Friday, November 22, 2013

The King is Dead: VAMPIRES REVEALED!

A vampire out on a daylight errand.
The gift of undeath is a strange and complicated magic.  There is little in the sacred texts about the powers (or fate) of Salome, but King Hordos is credited with being able to dominate the wills of others, change into a devouring swarm, and become one with his shadow; his spawn, Emperor Etzel, on the other hand was able to become a wolf the size of a horse, regenerate wounds, and command the weather.  The blessings of Sathaniel are surprisingly capricious.

Vampires have learned over the centuries that creating vampires from their own dunpeals and the children of said dunpeals greatly improves the chances of a vampire sharing his sire’s gifts.  King Wilhelm’s three sons who were conceived while he yet breathed – Ruprecht, Rickard, and Wilhelm the Red – have gifts of the blood that differ greatly from each other and their father; his youngest son, Heinrich, was conceived after King Wilhelm received the gift from Emperor Etzel and resembles his father far more than his brothers.  It is for this reason that the vampires of Malleus have organized into stratified bloodlines headed by the royal princes, and why the breeding of dunpeals is so important.

[To avoid abusing fair use guidelines, the following refers extensively to Savage Worlds Deluxe (SWD) and Savage Worlds Horror Companion (SWHC).]

All vampires have the following basic racial abilities:
  • Claws: Str+d6.
  • Fangs: Str+d4.  Target must be grappled or immobile.
  • Feed: The vampire must drink at least a pint of fresh blood once per day. This is treated like the Habit (Major) Hindrance.
  • Gift of the Blood: All vampires start with one vampiric power determined by their bloodline.  Additional powers are gained with age and practice.  (See below.)
  • Gift of Sathaniel: A vampire may attempt to bestow Sathaniel’s gift on a mortal or dunpeal by drinking the subject’s blood unto the point of death (Incapacitated) and then feeding the subject at least a pint of the vampire’s own blood (inflicting 1 Wound on the vampire).  The subject then makes a Vigor roll with all applicable Wound Modifiers and receives the gift of undeath is he or she survives.  The vampire may aid the subject by feeding him or her additional blood; for every Wound the vampire inflicts on himself, the subject receives a +1 to the Vigor roll.
  • Invulnerability: Vampires can only be harmed by their Weaknesses. They may be Shaken by other attacks, but never wounded.
  • Strength of the Damned: Vampires start with a d8 Strength and Vigor rather than a d4.
  • Undead: +2 Toughness; +2 to recover from being Shaken; no additional damage from Called Shots; immune to disease and poison; does not suffer wound penalties.
  • Weakness (Ash Wood): Vampires take +4 damage from weapons made of the wood of the ash tree.  The ash has been burned to near-extinction throughout most vampire-controlled lands and is considered contraband in Malleus.  A vampire hit with a called shot to the heart (–4) by an ash wood stake must make a Vigor roll versus the damage total. If successful, it takes damage normally. If it fails, it crumples into a desiccated corpse.  Beheading the staked vampire, stuffing the mouth with garlic, and burning the remains will prevent the vampire from ever rising again.
  • Weakness (Curse of the Blood): Every vampiric bloodline has a unique weakness.  (See below.)
  • Weakness (Garlic): Vampires suffer a –2 penalty to Fighting attacks against anyone who carries garlic (or has eaten so much of it that the odor exudes from their skin).  It should also be noted that they cannot cross a threshold or windowsill warded with garlic.
  • Weakness (Wine):  A vampire who drinks even a sip of wine must make a Vigor roll to avoid retching. A roll of 1 on the Vigor die means the blood-drinker is Shaken, a failure means the vampire spits it up, a success means the unliving is able to swallow the drink without ill effect. This roll must be made for every drink the blood-drinker attempts.
  • Weakness (Sunlight): Vampires catch fire if any part of their skin is exposed to sunlight. After that they suffer 2d10 damage per round. Armor does not protect, but it is important to note that skin must be exposed directly to sunlight; Mallean fashion has adopted concealing masks and cloaks not dissimilar to Venetian Carnival costumes. All physical tasks made in sunlight are made at –2.
  • Weakness (Unwelcome Guest): Vampires cannot enter a home unless invited.
  • Weakness (Wolfsbane): The undead immunity to poison does not apply to wolfsbane, a deadly and eldritch flower that is poisonous to living and undead alike.  (As Lethal Poison, Savage Worlds Deluxe p. 89)
 
The vampire bloodlines of Malleus are:

Blut von Ruprecht 
Prince Ruprecht is a sinister plotter and strangely inhuman compared to his younger brothers.  His bloodline has manifested the ability to control vermin and adopt their forms.
Gift of the Blood
  • Rats in the Walls: Vampires of the Blut von Ruprecht have the ability to summon and control swarms of vermin (cockroaches, fleas, and rats are typical choices). This requires an action and a Smarts roll at –2. If successful, 1d4 swarms of crawling vermin (Savage Worlds Deluxe p. 141) come scurrying out of the walls or earth in 1d6+2 rounds.
Curse of the Blood
  • Weakness (Grain or Seeds: As Weakness (Grain, Seeds, or Nets) (SWHC p. 114).
Advanced Abilities
  • Low Light Vision: The young vampire’s eyes finally adjust to the night.  As the Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 132).
  • Change Form (Swarm): The vampire can explode into a writhing mass of rats or biting insects (see SWHC p. 112).
  • Burrowing: Vampires of the Blut von Ruprecht may burrow at their walking pace as per the Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 130).
  • Shadow: The vampire has lurked so long in darkness that he has become darkness itself (SWHC p. 114).
  • Fear: As the centuries pass, von Ruprecht vampires bald and their faces take on a fearsome, inhuman cast with beady eyes and projecting fangs.  They gain the Fear Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 131) with a -2 modifier but also gain the Ugly Hindrance.
 
Blut von Rickard
Prince Rickard the Wolf-hearted is a savage warrior and huntsman who bears a strong resemblance to the late Emperor Etzel.  His whelps echo his savagery.
Gift of the Blood
  • Change Form: As an action, the vampire can change into a dire wolf (SWD p. 135) with a Smarts roll at –2. Changing back into humanoid form requires a Smarts roll.
Curse of the Blood
  • Weakness (Blood): See SWHC p. 114.
Advanced Abilities
  • Low Light Vision: The young vampire’s eyes finally adjust to the night.  As the Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 132).
  • Children of the Night: Wolves only (SWHC p. 112)
  • True Predator: The von Rickard’s natural weapons grow more deadly; their fangs now deal Str+d4 damage and their claws Str+d8.
  • Fast Regeneration: See SWHC p. 113.
  • Fear: As the centuries pass, von Ruprecht vampires bald even as their faces grow hairier and take on a predatory cast with golden, wolf-like eyes and prominent fangs.  They gain the Fear Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 131) with a -4 modifier but also gain the Bloodthirsty Hindrance as they find themselves unable to feed without killing.
 
Blut von Rot
Prince Wilhelm the Red is the most charming of King Wilhelm’s sons.  They say his bloodline carries the angelic grace of Sathaniel himself.
Gift of the Blood
  • Charm: See SWHC p. 112.  It should be understood that “opposite sex” means “compatible sexual orientation.”
Curse of the Blood
  • Weakness (Herbs): The Blut von Rot is strangely vulnerable to certain plants venerated by the ancient Kimmerians (SWHC p. 114).  It should also be noted that they cannot cross a threshold or windowsill warded with garlic, holly, or juniper.
Advanced Abilities
  • Low Light Vision: The young vampire’s eyes finally adjust to the night.  As the Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 132).
  • Seduction: See SWHC p. 114.  Again, this applies to attackers of a compatible sexual orientation.
  • Flight: With a successful Vigor roll, a von Rot vampire may sprout vast black-feathered or leather wings (see SWHC p. 112).
  • Resurrection:  As Prince Wilhelm’s brothers and rivals have learned, the Blut von Rot is very hard to kill.
  • Fear: As the centuries pass, von Rot vampires bald and something monstrous begins to manifest beneath their beauty; they gains the Fear Monstrous Ability with no modifier to the Fear check (SWD p. 131).
 
Blut von Heinrich
Though considered a pretender by his brothers, Prince Heinrich’s abilities are most like his father’s.  The Blut von Heinrich has an affinity for the air that grows more… diffuse… as they grow in power.
Gift of the Blood
  • Wall Walker: The vampire may defy gravity and walk on ceiling as easily as floors (see SWHC p. 114).
Curse of the Blood
  • Weakness (Bells): Tremendous drums are beaten in the clock towers of Malleus (see SWHC p. 114).
Advanced Abilities
  • Low Light Vision: The young vampire’s eyes finally adjust to the night.  As the Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 132).
  • Change Form: The vampire takes to the air as a Giant Bat (Giant Bat statistics are found on SHWC p. 56; the ability is detailed on SWHC p. 112).
  • Change Form (Swarm): Bats only (SWHC p. 112).
  • Weather Control: Now the vampire can control the wind.  With this power at his command, it is no wonder how King Wilhelm conquered Malleus (SWHC p. 114).
  • Fear: As the centuries pass, von Ruprecht vampires bald and their faces take on bat-like aspects with splayed ears and rows of needle-like teeth.  They gain the Fear Monstrous Ability (SWD p. 131) with a -2 modifier but also gain the Ugly Hindrance.

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