Vampires in Innistrad
The vampires of Innistrad have quite a bit in common with vampires elsewhere- they live on the blood of mortals, they see themselves as humanity's masters, they can fly, turn into mist, and cloud minds.
But, they also differ from vampires elsewhere in some important ways, like the fact that they are living, and they originate from an alchemical process.
Edgar Markov was a human alchemist who saw that his people were on the way to starvation. He sought a way to increase the crop supply, but could not.
So he found a way to decrease crop demand.
Edgar Markov was convinced by the demon Shilgengar to begin experimenting with blood, which led to Edgar and his sons trapping the angel Marycz and exsanguinating her. …because human blood wasn't good enough. …and Innistrad angels have blood.
Edgar transformed the blood into an alchemical substance that removed the need for food in those anointed by it, but giving them a thirst for blood.
Not only did this reduce the demand for food by replacing dietary needs of some people, it also reduced it through the death of people who fed the new vampires.
Now the "condition of the blood" (as vampire's call it) can be transmitted by mingling the blood of a vampire with that of a human, typically done while feeding.
Vampires of Innistrad exist in bloodlines. Originally there were 12, but three have died out and five are fairly minor. The four bloodlines that matter are Markov, Falkenrath, Voldaren, and Stromkirk, each with their own signature powers.
The most prestigious bloodline is that of Edgar Markov. It has been fairly expansionist in siring, and thus has representation across Innistrad. The primary power of the Markov bloodline is psychic magic.
Named for a now dead famous falconer progenitor, the Falkenrath bloodline is primarily found in Stensia. Falkenrath vampires are notably arrogant, walking openly among humans and choosing their victims. Falkenrath vampires master flight more commonly than other bloodlines.
Even in life, the progenitor of this bloodline, Olivia, was an eccentric aristocratic hermit. Her bloodline shares her proclivity for living distant from human civilization. Voldaren vampires tend towards learning to change forms.
The Stromkirk bloodline elected to not play politics in Stensia, and so concentrated themselves in Nephalia. They are more skilled in their glamours than other bloodlines because of this, and their progenitor, Runo Stromkirk, was a priest of a pre-Avacynian typhonic god, giving them an affinity for the coasts. Stromkirk vampires often develop the ability to turn into mist.
The Effects of Vampirism
All vampires share some basic qualities regardless of bloodline-
- +4 strength, all vampires are remarkably strong by human standards. Each bloodline also has it's own talents. The Markov bloodline is known for intellect, receiving a +4 bonus to Intelligence. The Falkenrath bloodline is particularly adroit, gaining +4 Constitution. The Voldaren Bloodline is beautiful and alluring, receiving +4 Charisma. The Stromkirk bloodline is known for their agility, possibly due to their innate tie to water and mist, gaining +4 Dexterity.
- Monstrous Humanoid
- 40 ft land speed
- 2 claws and Bite
- Blood-drinking: vampires can drain blood from a helpless human or after winning a grapple. This requires a touch attack with the vampire's bite attack and deals 1 con damage in addition to standard bite damage.
- Silent aura: A vampire can surround themselves with supernatural silence at will. This is a swift action and replicates the silence spell save that it only radiates 5' from the vampire. It uses the vampire's character level as caster level and is charisma based.
- Agelessness: vampires are immortal and unaging so long as they drink blood. They do not accrue bonuses or penalties for aging.
- Vampiric Vulnerabilities: for all their strength, vampires have some glaring weaknesses.
- Living Wood, that is, wood that has been cut within the last three days (or kept alive through mundane or magical means) is particularly effective against vampires. Any successful attack made with a weapon of living wood is a critical hit. If the die would normally indicate a critical threat, it automatically hits and the multiplier is treated as being 1 higher.
- Moon Water: any body of water that reflects the moon is impassible to a vampire.
- Silver Truth: Unlike vampires of other planes, Innistrad vampires do have reflections, but silver reflects their true self, not just how they look without their glamour, but how they'd look if they had never been anointed. This is unnerving, to say the least, and vampires can sense the presence of silver. Just the knowledge that silver is within 100' forces a vampire to Will save (DC 20) or be shaken so long as silver is near.
- Avacyn's Power: the entire purpose of Avacyn is to strike a balance between humanity and the monsters that prey upon it. Symbols of Avacyn act as silver, and symbols which are actually made of silver have a DC of 25 for the vampire to resist being shaken. A person of faith may attempt to turn a vampire by brandishing the symbol of Avacyn and making a Wisdom check. This follows the standard rules for turn undead, though anyone who is an ordained member of the church of Avacyn has an effective cleric level equal to their character level for this check. A character may attempt to turn a vampire in this way as often as they wish, but without cleric levels, it will be difficult, and a failure is likely to lead to a very short life.
- Bloodthirst: Vampires are living creatures who take their nourishment in the form of blood. They must consume 10 pints of blood (roughly the contents of an average, healthy human) each month orr waste away. If a vampire does not consume enough blood in a 30 day period, they will wither and desiccate, suffering 1d4 Con drain each day until they reach 0 Con or until day 4, when they crumble into dust. If they make up for the deficit in this period, they can reverse this damage, recovering all drained Con the next day. Blood drank to make up for the deficit does not sustain them for the next 30 day period.
Blood must be human, and must be living (separated from human no more than 3 days, or magically preserved) to give the vampire any nourishment.
In a single round, a vampire can drink about 1 pint of blood from an open artery. Thus, it takes about a minute to completely drain a person (however, keep in mind that is roughly equivalent to chugging more than gallon of thick milk in a minute, and most vampires pace themselves). A vampire who has drank this quickly is staggered for an hour while their body deals with the large influx of food.