Thursday, March 25, 2010

Vampires from the Rules Cyclopedia

I was reading the Rules Cyclopedia entry on the vampire, and then the following section of Undead Lieges. Like other energy draining undead, the possibility of a vampire hoard wiping out civilization, and ushering in an undead evil empire is pretty strong.  So what's to stop that from happening? (You know, aside from all those adventurers.)

According to the Undead Lieges and Pawns rules: At moonrise on the night of the full moon, all pawns are freed of control and cannot be controlled again until the following dawn. Thus, the maximum continuous duration of undead control is about four weeks. Any liege may release control of its pawns at any time.  

Plus there is the HD limit for control: A liege may control a number of undead whose total Hit Dice are less than or equal to twice the liege's Hit Dice.

Now, it isn't clear that these rules apply to the vampire, as there is an entire section devoted to energy draining undead, and according to the undead control chart a vampire can't possibly control another vampire, at least not one that wasn't created by the first vampire. 

Let's look at what happens when a vampire kills everyone staying at an inn.  Chances are really good that of the 15 people at the inn, at least 14 of them are normal people.  We'll say one of them is a level 3 wizard.  Come the next night our Vampire Lord has 15 vampire pawns.  14 of them are 7 hit dice creatures with 1-3 hit points.  The last one has 6 hit points, and can cast a couple of spells.  Basically he just created 14 vampire minions from 4e.  Any 7th level party should be able to wipe out the bunch without too much effort, but probably a whole lot of worry.  They're still doing the double energy drain!  

Should they still be doing double energy drain?  Are they really worth 1,250xp each?  Or is it worth writing up a vampire spawn monster?  One that fits with the previously mentioned Undead Liege rules?

Anyone have any experience actually using these rules? 


  1. I don't know, but I think I'm going to read "Undead Lieges and Pawns." Thanks for peaking my interest.


  2. I've always liked the idea that the vampire spawn start off weak and grow in power. They start off as whatever they were in life, plus the vampire's weaknesses. Every couple of days (or weeks, or some other time frame) they gain a HD. Every couple HD they gain a new vampire trait.

  3. @Tourq - Glad I could grab your interest.

    @DeadGod - I also like that idea, but I also don't think that they should grow in power to match that of their creator. Let me know if you like the spawn that I'll be posting later!