4e Vampires with Presence: Lackey of Strahd
Vampires, they’re quite a famous villain are they not? Cliches aside, their fame comes with good reason as they not only combine the the intrigue and fear of the unknown with inhuman strength and at times very human emotions, they are seductive plot hook factories.
Not just within the D&D world either, centuries of folklore have cast these sanguine fiends into our history as everything from feral saw toothed (literally) blood thirsty creatures of the night, to eloquent and dapper souls bathed in the torment of facing eternity alone, sparkly emo kids and Transylvanian terrors.
Vampires are virtually embedded in culture the world over in one form or another, all that being said I’m one of those who’s a sucker for them. I’m really a sucker for horror in general but vampires are in my ‘upper echelon of awesome’, specifically the Count Dracula stereotype. This alone should explain my love and current obsession with the Ravenloft campaign setting. The fact that the setting was way before my time makes me feel as if perhaps my attempts at converting it bit by bit to 4th edition D&D may seem unfaithful to some, but rest assured I’m absorbing Ravenloft lore like a sponge and trying my hardest.
Just a Fledgeling
Of all the old campaign settings it has captured my attention with a vengeance and only marginally surpasses Planescape on my list of “Best Settings Ever” and “Stuff WotC needs to recreate for 4e”. I hope the Ravenloft content here is useful to someone, somewhere – if you absolutely love it or hate it pleas tell me via comments, twitter or on my facebook page.
Also please bear in mind that the mechanics and theme behind this monster are directly inspired from the Ravenloft universe, particularly the 2e stuff. If you are unfamiliar with it, it was commonplace that vampires had a lupine form as well as their more widely accepted bat and a mist forms.
I’ve tried to convey thematic narrative elements within the mechanics that should paint quite the nocturne of a Barovian vampire without having to write a couple hundred words of back story fluff. Though if fluff is something you’d be interested in reading then let me know in the comments below. Enjoy, and drink deeply my friends.
(Click for full image, or grab the RTF for printing)