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- Out for Blood
- Monsters of the Boundless Blue
- Last Rites of the Black Guard
- Aten – City of Life
- Mecha SRD Extreme
Out for Blood
In the vastness of the human imagination, if there be a single creature that embodies both our innate fear of the unknown as well as our unappeasable desire to know it better, it would be the vampire. Even as the superstitions that gave rise to these consummate undead are forgotten, fiction inspired by them lives on, adding more to their heritage every day. It is nearly impossible to catalogue all of the incarnations of the vampire that have appeared in various cultures and eras in the course of human history. Out for Blood makes no such claim, instead, it merely asserts to have opened the door to new possibilities. Through this now yawning portal, we welcome you to the world of vampires, their minions, and those who would slay them.
What shall come to pass…
The material herein is broken into three chapters and an appendix, as follows:
Chapter 1: Characters. The characters that players bring to the table are both the driving force behind all action in any roleplaying game as well as the root of unnumbered interesting stories. With this in mind, this chapter takes a look at characters that might be found in a vampire-centric or related campaign. First, this chapter takes a quick look at several new uses for skills and new feats that might be useful to such characters. These are followed by a host of new prestige classes meant to inspire all kinds of interesting characters: from vampire hunters; to a vampire’s many minions; to vampires themselves.
Chapter 2: Creatures. Of course, no book about vampires and other bloodsuckers could be complete without descriptions of those very creatures. This chapter takes a look at several optional rules designed to add flavor to vampires in general, as well as an in-depth examination of a whole dark cadre of new monsters and templates designed to show off the diversity of the vampire. This chapter reveals dozens of new types of vampires in addition to hordes of other horrific monstrosities that might be involved in vampire-related adventures.
Chapter 3: Campaigns. In order to construct an entire campaign around bloodsuckers, care must be taken to keep things interesting. Thus, this chapter is a grab bag of topics meant to keep vampire-like villains interesting time and time again. The chapter begins with a look at several organizations that can appear in a campaign where vampires are abundant (or perhaps one where their numbers are on the rise). This is followed by a list of vampire-related ideas for adventures and encounters just waiting to be developed into full-fledged campaigns of their own. The chapter ends with a few quick notes on various vampire lairs that might be encountered in any setting.
Appendix: Spells and Resources. Included in this two-part appendix are a handful of spells related to vampire folklore, as well as the new Blood domain for particularly cruel and nefarious clerics and a few of the sources wherein this folklore can be accessed.
A brief note on “Vampire” vs. “Vampyr”
Throughout this book, the terms vampire and vampyr are used quite often and a distinction, of sorts, initially needs to be made, to head off any possible forthcoming confusion. A vampyr (pronounced “vam-PEER” or “vom-PEER”) is a particular type of vampire. The vampyr template is similar to the vampire template described in the core rules, but is designed to incorporate themes appearing within the pages of this tome. The vampyr template can also serve another purpose: it can replace the vampire template from the core rules altogether. This substitution would prevent the need from distinguishing “vampire” (the template) from “vampire” (the creature subtype). If used thusly, “Vampire” would instead always refer to the creature subtype, more accurately reflecting the fact that not all vampires are created with the same template.
Chapter 1: Characters
Simply put, you cannot have a story – or a roleplaying game – without characters. Therefore, the best place to start when considering vampire-related settings and storylines is with the characters that will become entangled within their dark and shadowy threads. Folklore and fiction related to vampires and other bloodsuckers feature a wide assortment of heroes, villains, and lackeys, each of whom has any number of interesting abilities at his disposal.
New Uses for Skills
All of the following new uses for skills are optional. In particular, the new uses of the Craft (alchemy) and Heal skills reflect various forensic techniques that are helpful tools for vampire hunters and other investigators in many settings, but which might not have an appropriate flavor for all campaigns. In all cases, refer to the Player’s Handbook for complete information on these skills, as only options are detailed below.
Craft (Alchemy) (Int)
Normal Use: You can make alchemical items. This skill allows you to determine how much time and material it takes to make an alchemical item using the DCs listed below and the rules for making such items as found in the Craft skill description (see the PHB).
Identify Blood: You can only use the Alchemy skill in this way if you have least 5 ranks in Heal, or alternatively, in the Knowledge (anatomy) skill. Given any amount of blood and an alchemical laboratory, you can make an Alchemy check (DC 20, same cost in gold as the identify substance ability of the Alchemy skill) to identify the specific type of the creature from which the blood was taken. If you identify two different samples of blood, one immediately after the other, you are able to tell whether those samples are blood from the same creature, creatures of the same type, or unrelated creatures.
Decipher Script (Int; Trained Only)
Normal Use: You can decipher writing in an unfamiliar language or a message written in an incomplete or archaic form. The base DC is 20 for the simplest messages, 25 for standard texts, and 30 or higher for intricate, exotic, or very old writing.
Decrypt Message: The normal use of this skill assumes that you are deciphering a message that is simply hard to comprehend, not one that was intentionally hidden within another message or encrypted within a non-linguistic pattern. In reality, it is possible for a second message to be hidden within a first (or within gibberish). You may look for secret messages in a text, a physical puzzle, or any other item that might contain hidden information. Doing so takes 1 minute and has a DC equal to the Decipher Script roll made to encrypt the message (see Encrypt Message, below). If the check fails, or if there is no hidden message, you find nothing. You are allowed to retry checks to find secret messages, and you may take 20 on such a check.
Once you have found a secret message, you must still decipher it. The check to decipher a secret message is the same as the normal use of this skill, except the check uses the DC of the Decipher Script check made to encrypt the message (see Encrypt Message, below).
Encrypt Message: You may create a hidden message in the text of another message, in a physical puzzle, or in just about anything else capable of containing hidden messages (paintings, murals, the layout of a building or garden, etc.). Your DM rolls a Decipher Script check for you (DC 10) to determine whether or not you were able to successfully encrypt the message. On a failure, your message cannot be deciphered at all by anyone other than yourself, but you are unaware of this fact. On a success, your message is encrypted. It may be discovered and deciphered by others. The DC to do so is the result of the check you just made to encrypt the message. You may take a 20 on this check, negating any chance that your message can only be decrypted by you.
At your option, when you are encrypting a message, you may choose to make it “obvious” that whatever medium you have chosen to hold a secret message does in fact contain such a message. A Decipher Script check is still required to decrypt each page of the message, but no check is needed to determine whether or not a message is present. Any character trained in the Decipher Script skill knows immediately upon seeing the medium that it contains some sort of hidden message.
Special: If you have 5 or more ranks in Decipher Script, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Use Magic Device checks related to scrolls. A character who has the Diligent feat gains a +2 bonus on Decipher Script checks.
Normal Use: You can treat the injured, the infirm, or the dying. The DC and effect of your Heal check depend upon the task you are attempting.
Necropsy: By studying the corpse of any living creature for no less than 10 minutes and making a successful Heal check (DC 15 for a fresh corpse, DC 20 for a rotting one, and DC 30 for a skeletal corpse), you can determine what it was that caused the death of that creature. While the cause of death usually corresponds to an obvious wound, this use of the Heal skill is also able to detect less obvious causes of death (poison, disease, energy draining, etc.), and reveals which wounds upon a corpse were sustained after death (if any). In order to perform a necropsy in this way, at least half of the corpse to be studied must be on hand.
The following new feats might appeal to characters that have dealings with vampires, either as friends or as foes. Note that each of these new feats requires the class ability to channel energy (negative energy for Blot the Sky, positive energy for Part the Clouds).
Blot the Sky [General]
You are able to call upon a source of negative energy and force nature to block the light of the sun or the moon.
Prerequisites: Ability to channel negative energy.
Benefit: If you are outdoors and in plain sight of the sky, you may expend one use of your rebuke undead ability as a standard action to cause a cloud to pass over the sun or the moon, even if there were previously no clouds in the sky. This effect creates a 60-foot-radius cylinder of shade centered upon your location and extending upwards into the heavens. Within this cylinder, lighting conditions are calculated as if the sky were overcast, and creatures are protected from any detrimental effects of naturally occurring sunlight, moonlight, and starlight (if any). This effect moves with you and lasts for one round per level.
This feat is a supernatural ability. It does not produce any precipitation, though it can alter magically summoned weather conditions involving the presence or absence of clouds. If the areas affected by the results of two or more Blot the Sky feats overlap, their effects do not stack.
Part the Clouds [General]
You are able to call upon a source of positive energy and part any clouds that might be blocking the sun or the moon.
Prerequisites: Ability to channel positive energy.
Benefit: If you are outdoors and in plain sight of the sky, you may expend one use of your turn undead ability as a standard action to part any clouds that might be in the sky, allowing natural light to break through. This effect creates a 60-footradius cylinder of natural light centered upon your location and extending upwards towards the sky. Within this cylinder of natural light, lighting conditions are calculated as if the sky were clear and no fog or mist were present; creatures in the area are exposed to any natural light currently emanating from the sky. This effect moves with you and lasts for one round per level.
This feat is a supernatural ability. It does not prevent precipitation other than fog or mist, even in the cylinder of light. It cannot be used to part magically created fog or mist, though it can alter magically summoned weather conditions involving the presence or absence of clouds. If the areas affected by the results of two or more Part the Clouds feat effects overlap, their effects do not stack.
Blot the Sky versus Part the Clouds
If the area of a Blot the Sky feat effect comes into contact with the area of a Part the Clouds feat effect or vice versa, the creatures using those feats must make immediate rebuking or turning checks, as appropriate. The lowest-rolling character loses concentration and the effect of his feat ends. In the case of a tie, both creatures lose concentration and the effects end. The same procedure is used if a Blot the Sky feat effect is created inside an existing Part the Clouds feat effect or vice versa.
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