Eberron Cursed Vampire
The life-cycle of the average vampire is well known: vampires create spawn that are subject to them, who in turn become true vampires when their master dies or releases them.
But there is another means by which a vampire can be born — a curse.
The ancient elves of Aerenal created the first vampires as a curse, a punishment for the most heinous of crimes, an eternity of torment and hunger. But the condemned escaped and the curse backfired, giving rise to the so-called “true” vampires which plague Eberron today. Details of the ritual that creates the curse are lost to history, but there are recent rumors that it has been rediscovered and perhaps even used.
Differences from “True” Vampires and Vampire Spawn
- When a person is afflicted by the curse, he or she immediately undergoes an extremely painful death and shortly afterward rises as a free-willed undead with a powerful and difficult to control desire for blood.
- Unlike Vampires and their Spawn, a Cursed Vampire is not buried and is thus not bound to a grave site, crypt, or coffin.
- Unlike a Vampire Spawn, a Cursed Vampire is not automatically compelled by another Vampire, although magical means of compelling a Cursed Vampire may still work as with any other creature.
- Because a Cursed Vampire is not bound by the grave, a Cursed Vampire is less likely to establish a lair, although they are by no means prevented from doing so. If anything, a Cursed Vampire is likely to be stricken with a wanderlust that rivals their bloodlust.
Lifting or Embracing the Curse
It’s possible for a Cursed Vampire to lift the curse in some way, through some form of atonement or holy ritual. Doing so releases the Cursed Vampire’s soul to travel to its afterlife, be that Dolurrh, merging with the Silver Flame, or becoming one with the Path of Light, or wherever it may go. However, a Cursed Vampire does not instinctively know how to perform this atonement or ritual or even that it can do so, and must learn it through research and introspection.
Similarly it’s possible for a Cursed Vampire to embrace the curse in some way, through dark deeds or an unholy ritual. Doing so transforms the Cursed Vampire into a true Vampire. Although the means by which the curse can be embraced is a long and involved process that varies with each individual, a dark burial that binds the Vampire to a grave site is part of that ritual. A Cursed Vampire instinctively knows what must be done to embrace the curse and is indeed continually tempted to do so.
Cursed Vampire Features
Any living sentient character, including warforged, can be inflicted by the curse. When a character becomes a Cursed Vampire, they gain the following features and qualities:
You are dead. You do not have a heartbeat or even a metabolism in the normal sense.
You are undead. Although dead, you are able to move your dead flesh as if you were alive. You do not need to eat, drink, sleep, or breathe, although you can choose to do any of those things without problem. You can think, communicate, and cast spells of any type. You can consume potions, and be poisoned. You know every skill you knew when you were alive and can even grow in knowledge and power over time. You can receive healing through spells or naturally through rest. Although you do not need to sleep, you must still enter into a dormant or trance-like state in order to complete a long rest.
Your immortal soul is trapped within your undead body. This causes you a continual discomfort that increases to pain when you do not regularly feed.
As long as you are well fed, your body maintains a youthful appearance and does not decay. Aside from being pallid, your body is virtually indistinguishable from a living being of your race.
You cannot be destroyed by any means, although you can be indefinitely incapacitated. If a piercing weapon made of wood pierces your heart while you are in your natural form, or if you completely starve, you are paralyzed and perpetually tortured until the stake is removed or you are fed.
Your alignment immediately becomes evil, although you retain your ethical alignment.
Creature of the Night
You have darkvision to 120ft.
You are consumed by a gnawing, painful hunger for blood. You primarily desire the living blood of thinking, sentient beings, but you can satiate your hunger with the blood of non-sentient animals or with old blood that has been outside of a living body for more than 5 minutes.
If you feed regularly, your body maintains a youthful appearance as if you were a young adult, regardless of the age at which you were cursed. The longer you go without feeding, the older the appearance of your body until shortly before starvation your body appears as a nearly mummified withered husk. When you are well feed again, you regain your youthful appearance and the pain of your hunger is temporarily satisfied.
If you go one week without feeding on at least one pint of blood, whether it is living blood, old blood, or the blood of an animal, you begin to starve. For every week you go without blood, you temporarily lose 1 HP from your maximum HP. You can still heal damage naturally, but at half the normal rate — you take a long rest while starving, you only regain half of your remaining HP up to your current temporary max HP. While starving you cannot heal by magic, gain temporary hit points, or gain XP, and you have disadvantage to all rolls except bite attacks.
Once you begin starving, you may forestall additional maximum HP loss and visible aging by consuming old blood or the blood of animals. This blood is not nutritious, however, and only temporarily arrests the starvation. Feeding on non-sentient blood also temporarily reduces distraction; for one week after feeding on non-sentient blood you no longer have disadvantage to all rolls.
If your maximum HP is reduced to 0 in this manner, you are overwhelmed by starvation. You immediately revert back to your natural body form if your shape has changed and you collapse on the spot. Your body, now little more than a withered husk, is paralyzed until you consume the fresh blood of a sentient being, presumably arranged via some servant tasked with restoring you. Although you cannot move, you still feel the pain of your hunger, and are continually tortured both physically and psychologically until you are restored.
To end your starvation, you must feed on living, sentient blood. If you feed on such blood via your bite attack, your maximum HP is restored by the amount you gain from the bite attack. If you are damaged while starving, you must first heal that damage before your maximum HP can be restored in this manner. You may only restore maximum HP by your bite attack, and you must fully restore your maximum HP to its original number (as determined by your class, level, and con score) to end your starvation.
If you are well fed on living sentient blood, you may choose to maintain your well fed status by subsisting on old blood or animal blood.
You gain a bite attack that can be used in your natural body form or in your bat form. The bite uses your STR bonus to attack and does 1d6 plus your character level necrotic damage. If you deal damage, you heal the same amount of HP. You are considered proficient in this attack.
You may optionally make this attack as a bonus action regardless of whatever action you take on your turn, but you may not use your STR bonus if you make an attack in this manner.
You are supernaturally charming and influential. You know the cantrips Friends and Message
If you are not starving, as a bonus action you may spend as many hit dice as you like to heal yourself.
If you are not in sunlight or running water, you can use an action to polymorph into one of three forms: your natural body, a Tiny bat, or a Medium amorphous cloud of mist.
While in bat form, you gain a fly speed of 40 ft and your walking speed is reduced to 5 ft, and you are limited to your bite attack. In this form you cannot speak or perform the complex movements of somatic gestures, but you are otherwise unaffected by the transformation and can cast spells or use supernatural abilities that do not require speech or somatic gestures. Anything you are wearing transforms with you into your bat form, but you drop anything you are holding in your hands when you transform.
While in mist form, you gain a fly speed of 20 ft. You are weightless. You cannot take actions other than movement or shape-changing. You cannot speak, or otherwise affect the environment. You can pass through a hostile creature’s space, but you cannot interact with it. You have advantage on all Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws, and you are immune to non-magical piercing, slashing, bludgeoning, poison, acid, and thunder damage.
When you drop to 0 HP, you immediately transform into your mist form. You have then have 2 hours to find a safe resting place. This may be a nearby place of your have prepared for this occasion, or simply wherever you happen to be when your 2 hours are up if you can’t get to it.
While you have 0 HP, you cannot transform into your bat form, and if you transform into your vampire form, you immediately begin resting.
When you begin your rest, you transform into your vampire form and are paralyzed until you heal at least 1 HP. You may take a short rest and spent hit dice after 1 hour, or you may take a long rest and regain all HP up to your current maximum HP.
If you are starving, you only heal half of your rolled HP on a short rest or half of your starving-lowered maximum HP on a long rest.
Piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning damage that you take from non-magical sources is reduced by half your character level (minimum 1).
You take 3 acid damage per character level if you end your turn in running water.
You take 5 radiant damage per character level if you begin your turn in natural sunlight. While you remain in sunlight, you have disadvantage on all rolls.