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(TFT) Vampires in TFT (article)
Like some others, I didn't think the version of Vampires in the
rules went quite far enough. Here is the text of the notes I wrote back
when I was running a TFT campaign. Let me know what you think it.
VAMPIRES IN TFT
by Jeffrey May
Vampires run the gamut, from mindless ravening blood-drinkers to
coolly rational beings intent on "live (?) and let live." Vampire rulers of
nations, vampire wizards, and others have been known. The causes and kinds
and conditions of vampirism are different, but three of the main types are
"True Vampires," "Cursed Vampires," and vampires afflicted with the vampire
disease. The one thing vampires have in common is that they must maintain
their existance by drinking the blood of others. It is how they maintain
their life-force. A vampire must have blood or begin losing 3 ST a day
after about seven days. The results if it cannot get the blood it needs
vary but are always harmful to it.
True Vampires are the rarest type. Whether they are the minions of
some mighty demon, as some clerics have claimed, or whether they arise from
the darkness in the human spirit, they are supernatural/magical beings of
great and evil power. ST of a true vampire is 20-30, DX 10-20, IQ 10-20.
They are immune to all but magical weapons and attacks. True vampires have
various powers which work like spells, but without ST cost. Powers include
some (but not always all) of the following: Darkness, Control Animal, Mage
Sight, Silent Movement, Control Person, Calling, Limited Shapechange,
limited Illusion, Insubstantiality, and Avert. (To even things out a
little, you may want to limit the number of times a day they can use some of
these.) In addition, a true vampire may be a wizard; it costs him double
e.p. to gain attribute points.
True vampires have some weaknesses. They cannot enter a house (or
any living space) uninvited. They are choked by garlic. They recoil from
holy objects and holy symbols in the hands of a true believer. They do not
reflect in mirrors and other surfaces. They take 1 point of damage per turn
in direct sunlight. During the day, they must sleep in a coffin filled with
their native soil; they are (somewhat) vulnerable during this time. They
can be deactivated by a stake through the heart, but only cutting off its
head and burning its body to ashes will truly destroy a true vampire. A
"Wish" will not cure this type of vampirism, though it may help defeat the
monster. True vampires have to drink blood in order to maintain their
existance. Usually they will take about 2 liters of blood a day, at -2 ST
per liter. The bite of a true vampire does not cause the vampire disease.
True vampires often try and spread their attacks around. Not only does this
make it harder to recognize that a vampire is at work, it also prevents new
vampires from arising. It is often oddly difficult for victims of a true
vampire's attack to recognize that an attack has taken place. Often the
signs are simply not seen. This is the vampire's limited Illusion power.
Only if someone who knows what to look for penetrates the illusion will
others realize what has happened. If a true vampire cannot get blood, when
it reaches 0 ST it goes dormant and waits ravening for a victim. In this
form it resembles a strong nightgaunt.
True vampires are created when a victim is drained of blood by
another true vampire. New vampires are under the control of their creator.
Their IQ is low, in the 6-8 range, but over time they become stronger and
may eventually escape their creator's control. Some scholars of forbidden
lore say that there is also a magic spell or series of spells that turn the
caster into a true vampire.
Greater demons and possibly some very powerful "Curse" spells can
afflict a victim with the curse of vampirism. A cursed vampire is by far
the most monstrous. Its thirst knows no bounds, and it always drains a
victim dry and tears his body apart. If it has time it may torment its
victim first. A cursed vampire's ST doubles or even triples when the frenzy
is on it. Its DX is +2, in addition to any advantage of great ST. Its IQ
is -4, and all ability to use weapons or spells is lost. Its MA is 14. Due
to its monstrous strength, it can jump up to 5 meters vertically (enough to
reach your bedroom window!) or 10 horizontally. It always fights HTH. A
cursed vampire is vulnerable to any attack that can affect its physical
form. Like a berserker it suffers no loss to DX because of wounds. It may
even keep on fighting several rounds after it takes fatal damage. It
ignores holy signs, garlic, and all the other traditional counters against
vampires. A "Wish" may end the curse... but watch out for the demon. This
type of vampirism is cyclical. Periods of a week to a year have been known.
Usually the frenzy lasts about a day.
The Vampire Disease
Victims of the vampire disease are the commonest type of vampire.
This is the type described in the TFT rules. Whether the similarities to
true vampires are coincidence or not, the existance of the vampire disease
has led many scholars to believe that no other kind of vampire exists.
Vampires of this type are the most human in nature, since they can maintain
a more or less normal existance if they have a regular supply of blood.
Vampires of the sickness have been known to keep captives or slaves as a
dependable blood supply. Whenever possible, victims of the vampire disease
should be cured, because the disease tends to produce obsession or insanity
in those who have it. A vampire of sickness who cannot get blood, dies. If
he has had the disease for very long, he may become a nightgaunt after death.
"Vampires in TFT" ends...
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