Q: Dear Sage,
If two half-vampires (from Libris Mortis) mate, will the child be a half-vampire too?
A: In general, the game rules are silent as to whether templates are passed down from parent to child. Thus, it’s entirely up to the DM to rule on the matter, using his best judgment.
The first hurdle is to determine whether the templated creature is even capable of producing offspring. Since half-vampires aren’t undead, it seems reasonable to conclude that they are capable of breeding.
Then, you should apply a little game-world logic to it. Does it make sense for the template to “breed true,” or is it a one-time-only kind of thing that should disappear in later generations? The text for the half-vampire template describes them as being born that way (rather than changed later), so clearly something vampiric is being passed down from parent to child.
The most important question of all, however, is whether you want it to be true in your game. If it fits the story you’re trying to tell, do whatever’s necessary and fair to the players. But if it just rubs you the wrong way, there’s no reason you have to allow it.
About the Author
The Sage is a mammal classified in the bear family, Ursidae, native to central and southern China. Debate continues as to whether he is truly a bear or more related to the raccoon rather than the bear, or perhaps in a family of his own. When not eating bamboo and answering rules questions, he works under the nom de plume of Andy Collins as an RPG developer in Wizards of the Coast R&D, where his development credits include Complete Mage, Dragon Magic, and the Player's Handbook v.3.5. He can be easily recognized by his large, distinctive black patches around the eyes, ears and on his rotund body.