Friday, February 8, 2013

Tome of Draculas!

An orphaned Secret Santicore request from Ian was for “better draculas.” This cryptic request I interpret as referring to D&D’s propensity of turning unique creatures from mythology or fiction into a class of creatures. A dracula then is pretty much like the standard D&D vampire--except that they have a whole “urbane foreign noble fallen on hard times” thing going for them.  For a standard dracula, simply use your vampire stats of choice: give him (it’s going to be a him, most of the time) a foreign accent, a stylish cape, and a dilapidated castle.

With that in mind, here are some dracula variants:

Aquatic draculas haunt sunken funeral ships or castles submerged by some natural or manmade upheaval. Draculas are restrained by running water, but relatively still lakes, inlets or lagoons provide a place where they may be active at least some of the time. Aquatic draculas are unable to summon rats, bats, or wolves, but crabs, sentient seaweed, piranhas, and unsavory otters are an option.

Merely vampiric animals (besides bats) are impossible, but the power of a dracula’s curse is such that even beasts must succumb. Dracula dogs are the most common variety, but even cows have been known. Dracula animals have HD 7 and all the usual vampiric powers and weaknesses, plus whatever innate abilities they possessed in life. Magical animals may not be dracula-ized. (An alternate version of the hellcow appears here.)

Some draculas ache for a love lost and often mistake some woman or another for this long dead inamorata. The charm ability of the lovelorn dracula often convinces the woman in question that she is indeed a reincarnation. Lovelorn draculas are mechanically identical to the standard version, but they are often hunkier and have flowing locks and a penchant for going shirtless. They seldom bother with summoning vermin, though they probably can.

These draculas are hideous and vaguely rodent-like in appearance. They lack the suave demeanor other draculas affect: they are either testy and animalistic, or creep- pathetic and lonely. They have a special affinity for vermin and can summon twice the usual number of rats. They also tend to bring plagues where they go and can cause disease. When exposed to sunlight they fade away rather than turn to dust.

This dracula violates the "mostly male" rule. These draculas are mostly female and their foreignness comes from being from another world or plane where blood flows like water. They have none of the shapeshifting or animal summoning powers of usual draculas, but make up for it with HD 9.

After a dracula dies, they turn to a reddish powder. This dust can be collected and made into a beverage when mixed with wine and human blood. When this potion is consumed, the imbiber must save vs. polymorph or painfully transform into a duplicate of the dracula whose dust was used.


Roger G-S said...

Dracula, Blacula

As the Lovelorn Dracula, but with the good sense to awaken in a time and place where a cape is a respected male fashion statement. Has impeccable disco moves (+3 Charisma on the dance floor).

The Angry Lurker said...

I watched "Bitten" last night and she was definitely otherworldy and naked!

Chris C. said...

All very nice -- I think the "Dust of Dracula" bit is a great touch. I can envision situations where such a polymorph could provide a PC with the power to save the party's bacon, but at the risk of the polymorphed PC remaining permanently in Dracula form. Quite the conundrum for a lawful character.

Trey said...

@Roger - Good one! I had thought of Blacula, but couldn't figure out what his hook was (other than the obvious). You got it, though.

@Fran - I haven't seen it, you micro-review is informative. :)

Trey said...

@Bard - Thanks! Yeah, it has all sorts of uses.

Anonymous said...

The "Unsavory Otters" and "Dracula Cows" are blowing my mind!

Anonymous said...

One of the better (IMHO) vampire films I have watched recently is Thirst by Park Chan-wook (I'm a big fan of his, generally). Basically this: A Priest, in volunteering himself to discover a cure for a disease, is transformed into a vampire by the doctors (who are experimenting with tainted blood for the cure). He becomes both a Monster and a Messiah, eventually renouncing both. . . Would make an interesting archetype for an alternate Dracula.

Jack Guignol said...

I'm all about this.

GrayPumpkin said...

Very nice, I love this. The Hammer Film dust Dracula is especially brilliant.

Gus L said...

Dracula, Hopping - As a normal Dracula but with the appearence of the garishly dressed and made up corpse of an exotic foriegner. They do not move normally, but hop stiff legged at their victims. Hopping Draculas are stronger and more aggressive than most draculas, attack as a 9hd creature with their bony hands while retaing all normal dracula hd and stats.

Trey said...

Thanks guys.

@Rev - Thirst is a great film, no doubt. I guess it's foreignness might get it into the dracula phylum, rather than just a vampire variant.

@GusL - Good one!

Deadstop said...

Adding sufficient human blood to Dracula Dust will allow the original dracula to re-form, fancy clothing and all. Draculas do not stay down for good.