pathfinder 1e – How can a vampire avoid destruction by direct sunlight?

Note: This answer is for dnd-3.5e exclusively. Other answers may provide pathfinder specific advice.

The Monster Manual on Slaying a Vampire says, “Exposing any vampire to direct sunlight disorients it: It can take only a single move action or attack action and is destroyed utterly in the next round if it cannot escape” (253). Libris Mortis expands on this description, that text on Sunlight Vulnerability saying that this means

…direct exposure to the light of the sun. Reflected sunlight, whether via a mirror or the moon itself, has no effect on an undead creature vulnerable to sunlight. Cloud cover or similar interference does not protect the undead creature unless it is thick enough to provide concealment to the creature. For example, a vampire within a fog cloud spell would not adversely be affected by sunlight. Even thick clothing, as long as it covers the body completely, can protect an undead creature from the dangers of sunlight. (140)

That text’s Table 7–3: Undead and Sunlight (ibid.) says that sunlight exposure leaves a vampire “disoriented, destroyed” then provides a note saying, “One round after exposure to sunlight begins, a vampire that remains exposed is destroyed utterly.” However, the Monster Manual remains the primary source for a vampire, and that means—despite Libris Mortis—during that 1 round the vampire still exists after it’s exposed to sunlight—when the vampire’s disoriented—a vampire is still limited to only either a move action or a standard attack. This limitation on the vampire’s actions makes it incredibly difficult for a vampire to activate effects that can rescue a vampire from its impending destruction.

For example, even if a DM were to allow the effect to function in such a way—and most won’t, making that an incredibly big if—, blotting out that pesky sun via the effect of the Iron Heart maneuver iron heart surge (special) (Tome of Battle 68) is impossible for the typical disoriented vampire as such a vampire must take a standard action to employ the maneuver. Further, for example,—assuming the rules for doing so from the Rules Compendium are in use (85)—activating a wand of quickened no light (trans) (Book of Vile Darkness 100) (0-level spell at caster level 1 modified to a 4th-level slot by a level 7 caster) (420 gp/charge) is also impossible, a disoriented vampire being unable to take even free actions, much less a swift or immediate action.

With all this in mind, for a vampire on a budget, listed below are what I think are the most cost effective ways for a dnd-3.5e vampire to avoid destruction from exposure to direct sunlight.

If the DM’s hewing closely to the rules, an explorer’s outfit (PH 129, 131) (10 gp; 8 lbs.) probably won’t be enough to cover the vampire’s body completely, so a cold weather outfit (PH 129, 131) (8 gp; 7 lbs.) likely won’t be enough either. A vampire in such a campaign needs an outfit that says it covers the wearer from head to toe, face included. The black bodysuit (Arms and Equipment Guide 29, 30) (30 gp; 1 lb.) may be sufficient, although to reap its other benefits also the vampire must be lightly equipped. However, the most foolproof method of covering everything according to the rules is probably the hydration suit (Sandstorm 99, 101) (1,000 gp; 10 lbs.), essentially a Dune-style stillsuit with goggles and everything (from the novels not the films). However, a more generous DM could rule an explorer’s outfit sufficient, maybe supplemented with piecemeal clothing from the Arms and Equipment Guide‘s Table 2–2: Clothing (29).

However, for a vampire, the terrifying thing about relying on this method to protect it from a sunlit environment is that clothing—like other worn items besides armor—is vulnerable to sunder attempts… and sundering a worn object is particularly easy: not only is doing so usually easier than hitting the vampire, but also clothing typically doesn’t have much in the way of hardness or hp. Seriously, once a dnd-3.5e vampire that’s out in the open on a sunny day is recognized as a vampire, the good folks of the town should do their best to rip its clothes off.

…Then take the feat Endure Sunlight…

The monstrous feat Endure Sunlight (LM 26) has as its prerequisite a vulnerability or weakness to sunlight—like that of the typical vampire—and has as the following benefit :

You can resist all dangerous effects of sunlight for a number of rounds equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier (minimum 1 round). After this time, if you are still exposed to sunlight, you take the normal effects as appropriate for your kind.

This gives any vampire at least 1 round to do something other than move or attack, like activate a wand of obscuring mist (conj) (PH 258) (1st-level spell at caster level 1) (15 gp/charge) (just as effective as the 2nd-level Sor/Wiz spell fog cloud (conj) (PH 232) for the purpose of saving a vampire from destruction), that aforementioned wand of quickened no light (without the quickening works, too!), or even—if the DM says it’ll make a difference—the martial maneuver iron heart surge. However, if the vampire wants true reliability in avoiding its destruction, it should probably have on hand a very particular potion (see below).

…Then chug potions of cloak of dark power

A potion of cloak of dark power (abjur) (Spell Compendium 48) (1st-level spell at caster level 1) (50 gp; 0.1 lbs.) should be available in all but the smallest town, despite the spell itself being available only as the 1st-level spell of the domain Drow (273). The spell’s effect creates around the subject a dusky haze that “does not interfere with vision, but the subject and anything it wears or carries is protected from the effects of full sunlight, even under the open, daytime sky of the surface world.” The spell’s 1 min./level duration should be sufficient for a vampire to get to safety after the vampire’s clothes have been ripped off and its rounds of sunlight endurance nearly exhausted.

If the DM rules the potion isn’t available—a strong possibility given the rarity of casters who can trigger the spell so as to create a potion of it—, a vampire can take a full-round action (that somehow doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity) to spread on itself the alchemical substance liquid night (LM 74) (150 gp; 0.5 lbs.). Doing so protects the vampire from sunlight for 1 hour. The cost—both in actions and gp—is higher than for the potion, but a vampire lacking access to the domain Drow may be able to itself manufacture liquid night instead of needing to purchase potions of cloak of dark power from increasingly suspicious vendors. However, both the potion and liquid night have achingly obvious effects—the haze of the potion‘s effect and the coating of liquid night being a “dark, sticky fluid” that “has a distinct musky odor of moonflower”—, making the presence of either effect a (ahem) dead giveaway that something’s not right with the affected creature.

vampire the masquerade 5e – Acquiring recipes/thin-blood alchemy formulae: Favors or XP?

I am currently playing an on and off again VTM campaign.
I am playing a thin blood character. I have the thin blood alchemy merit. I was wondering: as the merit works differently than disciplines, i.e. a formula or recipe can be written down, could I through the progress of the story trade a boon or service in exchange for a new formula. It seems to make sense to me as these recipes have a cost, and need hoops to be leapt through for some of these ingredients. But for balance, I think it is probably relegated entirely to spending Exp. I would like other peoples’ opinions.

(Just to clarify. I’m not saying if I have level one TB alchemy. I could trade for, awake the sleeper but possibly get my hands on a recipe/formula for haze or far reach.)

In case anyone is interested, I am playing a three-man campaign. I am the only thin blood though.

vampire the masquerade – What’s the publication history for the Kiasyd Bloodline?

The Kiasyd are a Lasombra Bloodline with Fae blood in them, which makes them a rather interesting take of vampire in general. However, trying to figure out the background for them is a little complicated, since bloodlines are not in the standard books for the 2nd edition and even the Revised edition doesn’t even mention them in the core book.

When and where was the Kiasyd Bloodline introduced as a sub-splat and in which books it appears subsequently till the 20th Anniversary Edition? Note that novels are out of the scope of this question.

Afaik, it has not yet appeared in 5th edition, but to future-proof, this edition is specifically cut.

dresden files – Can “Emotional Vampire” aid an Empathy roll?

Emotional Vampire provides no passive mechanical benefit

Emotional Vampire (Your Story, p189) is an interesting ability intrinsic to the White Court Vampires but available for other creatures it might apply to. However, it’s benefits are listed:

  • Feeding Touch: Use an appropriate skill to psychological attack (such as Deceit or Intimidation) with contact. Can be used in the same action as Incite Emotion (YS, p173).
  • The Taste of Death: Gain a scene of “recovery” period when you kill a creature with Feeding Touch.

And it has a drawback

  • Feeding Frenzy: The GM can call for Discipline rolls to resist the urge to feed and can compel your High Concept as well.

Emotional Vampire is a fairly iconic ability and probably should (it does require it) be reflected in your Aspects, probably your High Concept, as it is a part of what you are. You can almost definitely Invoke the associated Aspect to determine (appropriate) emotional states, but the ability provides no way to do so itself.

Of course it doesn’t hurt to ask your GM. FATE, including (maybe especially) Dresden Files, is a narrative game and not all bonuses need to be tied to something written down. Just look at almost any of the non-human NPC stat-blocks provided. They’re littered with comments, bonuses, and even automatic success conditions.

dnd 5e – lycanthropes vs vampire spawn in Curse of Strahd – review of tactics

Note: This entry is vague on plot points to avoid spoilers. Those who have read the module should know the situation I am referring to.

I am running CoS for the first time. In our last session, the PCs obtained the Chapter 5 McGuffin, but awoke all the vampire spawn. Our next session will start with a chase – some of the PCs with the MacGuffin will be running back to where it needs to be returned. Others will be running back to the base of operation of the lycanthropes. The vampire spawn will pursue both groups, and thus some of them will likely arrive at the lycanthrope base of operations and be confronted by them.

I am a new-to-5E DM. I am trying to predict what the confrontation will play out like and to consider the best strategies for both parties. I would appreciate comments on whether my rules understanding and reasoning are sound.

The attacks of vampire spawn are claws (slashing or grapple, 1 or 2 attacks per turn) and bite (piercing plus necrotic; on an unwilling victim, the target must first be grappled to make an attack, 1 attack at most per turn). Of these, only the necrotic bite damage can harm the lycanthrope, since it has immunity to non-magical, non-silvered slashing and piercing. Thus the optimal strategy of the vampire spawn is to make claw attacks until one hits, choose to grapple rather than damage, and then attack with bite to cause necrotic damage. Once a spawn has established a grapple, it should cease making claw attacks and just make one bite per round (unless both hands may be used to establish separate grapples, see “here”).

If the spawn starts its turn with no grapple in place, it will do an average of 2.52 points of necrotic damage. If it misses with the first claw, it can try with its second claw, but then cannot bite that turn, and the lycanthrope then has a chance of being able to break the grapple if it has a turn before the spawn’s next turn.

If the spawn starts its turn with a grapple in place, it will do an average of 4.2 points of necrotic damage. Regardless of whether this bite attack hits or misses, there can be only one bite attack per turn.

Thus, one on one, a vampire spawn is likely to take out a single lycanthrope in around ten rounds or so.

The lycanthrope has many options for forms and attacks, and most of them are capable of damaging the spawn. Its optimal damage strategy is to use hybrid form for the increased movement and attack either with one sword and one missile, or with two swords. However, the average damage will be 5.5 per round, and the vampire spawn will be regenerating at least ten points per round and more if it hits with a bite. Furthermore, any time the lycanthrope starts its turn grappled it should spend its entire attack action to break the grapple, which will further reduce its damage output. Given this, in a one-on-one fight a lycanthrope is very unlikely to be able to take down a spawn, and even two or more lycanthropes on one spawn would be unlikely to win.

It seems like the lycanthrope’s best option is to assist the PC’s and encourage them to take out the spawn one at a time by concentrating attacks. If the lycanthropes cannot do this, they really should flee as they are clearly outmatched. If they can do this, possibly keeping themselves at a distance and attacking with missile fire might be appropriate, although it limits them to one attack per round. Alternatively, they could remain in melee and use the Help action to give PC’s advantage on attacks against the spawn.

Unbeknownst to the lycanthropes, they might receive assistance from a nearby NPC as well, although in the case of my party it is rather early for this reveal.

Finally, the lycanthropes have on hand several allied swarms, which is where I am most unsure of optimal action choices.

If the swarms start their turn with a lycanthrope grappled by a spawn but the lycanthrope going before the spawn, one swarm should ready an action to Help the lycanthrope on its turn, giving it advantage on escaping the grapple. Only one should do this since the lycanthrope cannot do better with having more Help on the same action.

If the swarms start their turn with a lycanthrope grappled but the the grappling spawn going before the lycanthrope (or the possibility that the spawn will go before the lycanthrope in the next round, if the swarm is the last of the three to go in the current round), at least one swarm should use its action to also attempt a grapple on the lycanthrope. The lycanthrope should choose to defend against the new grapple with Athletics rather than Acrobatics to give the swarm the best chance to succeed in the grapple (d20-2 > d20). If the grapple succeeds, the swarm should then move the lycanthrope out of reach of the spawn and thus end its grapple. If there are two or more swarms available per grappled lycanthrope, it is not clear to me whether one should Help the other to give it advantage on the attempt, or rather each one should try independently but successively.

If the swarms start their turn with no lycanthropes grappled, they should prepare readied actions to shove any lycanthropes who are grappled by a spawn out of the spawn’s reach as a reaction on the spawn’s turn, thus ending the spawn’s grapple before they have a chance to bite. Again, it is not clear to me whether multiple swarms should be attempting this independently or helping others that are. It would be less effective to shove the spawn (who have a better chance to resist) and it would be impossible to both grapple AND move the lycanthrope or the spawn as a readied reaction.

I would appreciate any comments on whether I have misunderstood the mechanics of this fight or that the overwhelming tactical goal of the spawn is to bite and that of the lycanthropes is to break spawn grapples before they can bite.

dnd 5e – What happens if a vampire can’t rest in his coffin?

As far as I know, there are no further explanations.

A similar line appears on Curse of Strahd

A vampire must rest in its coffin during the day. At
night, it can summon wolves and vermin to do its bidding.

From Strahd himself, the only situation he dies if he can’t reach his Coffin is when he’s already at 0 HP

Misty Escape. When Strahd drops to 0 hit points outside his coffin, he transforms into a cloud of mist (as in the
Shapechanger trait) instead of falling unconscious, provided
that he isn’t in running water or sunlight. lf he can’t transform,
he is destroyed.
While he has 0 hit points in mist form, he can’t revert to his
vampire form, and he must reach his coffin within 2 hours
or be destroyed. Once in his coffin, he reverts to his vampire
form. He is then paralyzed until he regains at least l hit
point. After l hour in his coffin with 0 hit points, he regains l
, hit point.

Other than that, it’s not explained what would happen if he couldn’t go back to his coffin.

If they are out of sunlight, though, I don’t think there should be any harder consequences than them not being able to rest.

It depends on what you call “Sleeping”, but, as far as I understood roleplaying Strahd and his vampires, yes, they “sleep” in the sense that they are unconscious/vulnerable for some time. Again, it’s not defined, as far as I know, if they can choose to not rest, and if they can, what happens if they don’t.

Personally, I think most of the vampires interactions and rulings are up to the DM by now (check this question as another example), which is a shame since they could have been more explored in CoS already.

So, the final answer by now, from my knowledge, is…

world of darkness – Does torpor heal a vampire without spending blood?

I was looking for confirmation in the 20th Anniversary Edition of Vampire the Masquerade about what health level a vampire would be at if it fell into torpor from damage and then rose from torpor. I found what seems like a contradiction.

First, it’s widely accepted that vampires have to spend blood to heal, absent some wacky magic.

Note that blood expenditure is the only way that
vampires can heal wounds. Just as their immortality
prevents the Kindred from aging and dying naturally,
so it also inhibits the recuperative processes natural to
a living body.
– V20, p268

But the description of torpor describes a vampire who entered it in the Incapacitated health level leaving it in the Crippled health level without spending any blood to heal.

Following (torpor), the player may spend
a blood point and make an Awakening roll (p. 262)
for her character to rise. If the vampire has no blood
in her body, she may not rise until she is fed; if the
player fails the Awakening roll, she may spend another
blood point and make an Awakening roll the following
night. If the vampire rises successfully, she is considered
Crippled and should either spend blood or hunt
V20, p283-284

It’s difficult for me to read “is considered Crippled” as meaning anything other than “is Crippled”, i.e. “is at the Crippled health level, one level higher than Incapacitated”. One would think that any other more complex meaning would be elucidated in the text.

Note that the blood expenditures mentioned in the above quote are “awakening” expenditures.

Vampires must subtract one blood point from their
blood pools every night, whether they rise for the evening
or not, as the unnatural magics animating their
dead bodies consume the vitae they have taken from
their prey. -V20, p268

And there’s nothing special about those blood expenditures that also heals wounds as a bonus.

Can anyone suggest the most well-supported interpretation?

  1. The period of rest results in raising the torpid vampire from Incapacitated to Crippled without a blood expenditure to heal.
  2. The vampire remains in the Incapacitated health level, but uses the mechanics of the Crippled health level and is capable of movement. And that was just written really, really ambiguously for some reason.