There are a number of different breeds of creature that are all loosely categorized under the term "vampire," mostly because they all derive sustenance and power from drinking human blood. Vampires are usually a type of undead, ranging from specific types of demonic possession to mystically immortal beings who transform their bodies through blood sorcery. Generally, nearly all vampires are unaging, physically powerful, and possess various bestial traits, such as fangs that they use to feed on their victims.
- Looking for a list of vampires? Check Here.
- 1 Major Factions
- 2 Varieties
- 3 General Characteristics
- Main article: List of Vampire Covens
- Main article: Volturi
The Volturi are the largest and most powerful coven of "Cold One" vampires. They have made it their personal mission enforce the laws of their kind. The equivalent of royalty in the vampire world, the Volturi are made up of vampires who have shown some of the rarest and most powerful talents from among their kind, many of whom comprise their "Volturi guard." They are generally regarded with caution and distrust by outsiders.
- Main article: House Dracula
When one imagines vampires, the Drăculești are generally the first concept to come to mind. Founded and still ruled by Vlad Dracula, they have endured as the most iconic vampiric house largely thanks to writings of Bram Stoker. Thanks to portrayls in Hollywood films and other popular media, however, much about House Dracula is obscured by a dense fog of confusion, misinformation, and clichéd stereotypes.
Major varieties of vampire include:
The Classical Vampire
- Source: Varied
These classic "Dracula" style vampires are mystically empowered undead, a human who is transformed into an immortal blood-drinker. These vampires are true undead, the soul bound to the body, and tend to be sensitive to sunlight, usually repulsed by displays of spiritual faith, and often have an aptitude for blood sorcery. They can usually be incapacitated by a wooden stake in the heart or killed via decapitation. Most are weakened by sunlight, which may either incinerate or only weaken them based on their individual strength and specific bloodline.
On a case-by-case basis, they may have classic vulnerabilities and flaws, such as lacking a reflection, being harmed by holy water, or being repulsed by garlic. They are often capable of powerful blood magic and may also have potent psychic abilities, such as hypnosis. New vampires are usually made by replacing all of their blood with vampire blood, such as bleeding a victim to the edge of death, then feeding them a few drops of vampire blood, after which they develop a compulsion to feed.
The Cold Ones
- Source: The Twilight Saga (Main Article: Twilight Vampires)
"The Cold Ones" brand of vampire is distinguished by marble-like skin and potent venom, though perhaps most obviously by their unusual reaction to sunlight. These vampires are not harmed by the sun, but their skin sparkles like crystal when touched by sunlight. This makes them stand out, so they still avoid sunlight, much like other vampires. Another unusual fact is that they lack fangs, though they do have razor-sharp teeth. This variety of vampire is also prone to extremely intense emotions, as well as exuding pheromones and even having a hypnotic quality to their voices. While they are less mystically inclined than other vampires, they are strongly inclined toward individual psychic powers. New vampires are made by biting a human and injecting them with vampire venom, which begins a process of transformation that takes approximately three days, gradually calcifying the human's cells and transforming them into an immortal being with marble-like flesh.
The Demonic Undead
- Source: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer ("Vampires" on the Buffyverse Wikia )
These "vampires" are demonically possessed corpses; a recently dead human is exposed to vampire blood, allowing a demonic spirit to meld with the body. The demon absorbs the memories and identity of the former human while casting the human's soul to drift into the aether, where it is unable to manifest as a ghost or transition to an afterlife. These vampires are repelled and burned by holy symbols, are combustible in sunlight, are highly vulnerable to fire, burn when touched by holy water, are repulsed by garlic, and can be killed by wooden stakes to the heart or decapitation. They generally show a strong aptitude for ritual magic, and they retain any psychic powers they had during life in their undead form. They exhibit the power to "feed" on the power of other beings by drinking their blood, giving them a powerful adrenaline rush equal to the blood they just drank or a basic increase in power, whichever is better. One highly distinctive characteristic is that they dissolve into dust upon final death. New vampires are made by forcing a dying or recently dead human to imbibe vampire blood.
A Note on Souls
In Buffy canon, it's often stated that vampires lack "souls" and can have them "restored." This conflict exists on the game, but we have had to give it context and explanation. For the purposes of the game, these vampires do "have souls." However, as described below, they may be sublimated or "lost" due to being locked in a struggle for dominance with the demon that's occupying the body. This is not that dissimilar to the way other forms of vampire must struggle with their own bestial impulses after being turned.
We're using the term "soul" in a slightly different way than they did in the shows Buffy and Angel. For us, "soul" is understood to mean the fundamental essence of who the person was in life: their personality and identity. However, the souls of people turned to become the demonic undead end up in conflict with the demonic power that turns them. Most of the time this results in the "stock" Buffy-style vampire--the ones that we typically saw Buffy slay in any given episode--the demonic posessor wins, destroying whatever remained of the person who was turned and leaving their spirit to pass on to wherever a spirit might go after death.
A very few have the strength of personality to endure and even fight back, and under the right conditions, those individuals may reassert themselves against the demon possessing their bodies. As a case in point, when the Kalderash curse suppressed the demonic entity that was "Angelus," his previously mortal soul reasserted itself, and he became "Angel." So, when an individual is either strong enough in personality or is assisted by an outside force, they may reassert their individual identity--restoring their soul, so to speak, as the characters might say--and reclaim control of their body as a vampire.
The Living Immortals
- Source: Supernatural ("Vampires" on the Supernatural Wikia )
This variety of vampire doesn't technically die, so much as they are transformed. Despite not being technically undead, however, they have the same unaging immortality as most other vampires. They are sensitive to sunlight to a lesser degree than most vampires -- it only causes them severe sunburns, but they do tend to become weaker and more drowsy during daylight. They are also not vulnerable to many of the classic defenses against vampires, such as holy symbols, staking, or similar. They are severely weakened by contact with the blood of the dead, however, and can be killed by beheading. In rare cases, they can be cured by powerful arcane rituals, having their humanity restored. They have no specific enhanced aptitude for magic or psychic talents, nor any specific lack of such ability. New vampires are made by feeding a human vampire blood, and when the infected makes its first kill, it is transformed into a living vampire. Note that the human must consume at least a good mouthful of blood, not just a drop or so, and that the blood must be very fresh, so just slipping someone a drop of preserved vampire blood is not sufficient to cause the transformation.
The Psychic Predators
- Source: The Dresden Files ("White Court Vampires" at the Dresden Files Wikia )
White Court "vampires" are not vampires in the traditional sense, but rather are a type of psychic vampires. They are known for their otherworldly beauty and the powerful sway they can have over the emotions of others, particularly mortals. The White Court do not drink blood. Instead, they inspire strong emotions and then absorb them, along with portions of their victims' life force. Once turned, they gain enhanced physical traits, though their main asset is the psychic powers to which they are inclined. They show no particular enhanced aptitude for magic, however. They do not have any specific vulnerabilities akin to other vampires, though they are more susceptible to general physical trauma than most other types. Each family of the White Court specializes in a emotion, such as lust or fear, but they are vulnerable to the opposite--such as love or hope--so that they cannot affect one embodying it, and the touch of such a person can even burn them. They are notably weakened by crossing thresholds. Vampires of the White Court are born, not made. Some time after adolescence, they begin to experience a strong draw to feed on the emotions of others. The first feeding is always fatal for the victim, and after that feeding the vampire has fully bonded with a kind of demon called a "Hunger," which is the source of their powers. If they can resist the Hunger and never feed, they are able to remain human.
Most vampires have some measure of enhanced physical prowess. The exact measure may vary with the individual and variety, but for the game purposes they, for the most part, fall broadly into the same approximate template for their powers.
- Enhanced-level Strength
- Enhanced-level Agility
- Enhanced-level Toughness
- Enhanced-level Regeneration
- Enhanced-level Senses
Fangs and Venom
Vampires usually have fangs that rate as Enhanced-level weapons. In some cases they may have claws of that sort, too. In many cases, Vampires also possess fangs, which may have Basic-level to Enhanced-level venom, with effects that range from the narcotic to the paralytic.
Vampires, whether by dint of specialized venom or by sharing blood, have various methods to transform humans into more of their own kind. This usually involves the vampire biting the mortal, though the details vary: Some vampires transform with a simple bite, others have to exsanguinate the victim and then feed them some of their own blood. Some can use their blood to affect a victim without actually fully transforming them, creating blood slaves that are sometimes called "Renfields," more than human but less than vampires.
- Main article: Magic
Vampiric gifts range widely, but they tend to be either an enhancement of an extant vampiric power or some sort of psychic or magical power. Most commonly, these gifts are of the Enhanced level, though exceptionally potent vampires may have gifts that reach the Supernatural level. Common examples follow:
- Hypnotism and mental influence
- Personal transformation (as into a bat, wolf, or more exotic shape)
- Extreme travel speed (such as via running or flight)
- Blood sorcery and ritual magic
Vampires may have a number of common weaknesses.
Many, but not all, varieties of vampires tend to be weaker in some way during the day. The Hollywood convention of vampires bursting into flames or dying from contact with sunlight is false except in rare cases of a vampire with a specific personal weakness, but in many cases they may lose access to their more potent supernatural powers during the day. Some varieties, such as the Cold Ones, are not harmed by sunlight, but their crystalline flesh is revealed in direct sunlight, causing them to reflect light in a way that draws great attention to them.
Many vampires are vulnerable to a stake, often wooden, through the heart. This may kill them, or it may only render them weakened temporarily, depending on the sub-species.
Many vampires are highly flammable and can be destroyed by setting them on fire.
Most vampires will be rendered permanently dead if they are decapitated, despite their various powers.
Many vampires are repelled or caused great pain by demonstrations of deep personal faith or brandishing of holy symbols, especially if the bearer believes in that symbol. They may also be weakened upon or unable to enter holy ground.
Vampires may suffer from any number of odd mystic quirks, such as being unable to cross a threshold uninvited, being acutely allergic to garlic, having no reflection in mirrors, or being unable to cross running water.
For the purposes of the game, vampires do have souls. For our purposes, "soul" is understood to mean the fundamental essence of who the person was in life: their personality and identity. However, the souls of people turned to become Buffy-style vampires--the demonic undead--end up in conflict with the demonic power that turns them. Most of the time this results in the "stock" Buffy-style vampire--the ones that we typically saw Buffy slay in any given episode--the demonic posessor wins, destroying whatever remained of the person who was turned and leaving their spirit to pass on to wherever a spirit might go after death. However, a very few have the strength of personality to endure and even fight back, and under the right conditions, those individuals may reassert themselves against the demon possessing their bodies. As a case in point, when the Kalderash curse suppressed the demonic entity that was "Angelus," his previously mortal soul reasserted itself, and he became "Angel." So, when an individual is either strong enough in personality or is assisted by an outside force, they may reassert their individual identity--restoring their soul, so to speak--and reclaim control of their body as a vampire.