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Monster Mayhem
(April)

Monster Mayhem Archive

Beholder (February)
Umber Hulk (March)
Vampire (April)
Ethereal Marauder (May)
Orc (June)
Delver (July)
Half-Dragon (Aug)
Troll (Sept)
Diamondback Viper (Oct)
Stellar Deva Celestial (Nov)
The Vrill (Nov)

(((Sniff, sniff.))) Do you smell garlic? Must be Ed Stark, creative Director for D&D. Seems he’s been studying the 3rd Edition D&D vampire, and his report is this month’s installment of Monthly Monster Mayhem!

I don't even have to go into great detail to talk about why the vampire is a cool monster, but I do have to express one caveat: The vampire isn't a monster; it's a template.

Oh, sure, you'll be able to pick up the Monster Manual and run a vampire right out of the book, but that's not the most interesting way to go. See, the vampire is an undead creature that had to come from somewhere. Unlike the mindless zombie or skeleton, where the undead creature's past doesn't matter much (well, if it was a giant and became a zombie, I guess that would matter), the vampire is an "add-on," almost like a second class, for a creature.

Using the vampire template that appears in the Monster Manual, you can "add" the vampire to virtually any other creature or character easily. What if, for example, the city's best wizard accidentally becomes a vampire? That's a much bigger problem than, say, if your torchbearer gets bit. Not only does the new vampire have all her vampiric powers and undead immunities, but she's got a whole lot of wizard spells and class abilities to boot!

Now, what if that medusa becomes a vampire ... excuse me, I hear they need adventurers three kingdoms over...

There are other templates in the Monster Manual--lycanthropes, liches, etc.--and they're all pretty interesting. But I'll tell you, I think the vampire is one that'll make your blood pressure rise. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Vampire SpawnVampire

Medium-Size Undead
Hit Dice: 5d12 (32 hp)
Initiative: +7 (+3 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: 30 ft.
AC: 25 (+3 Dex, +6 natural, +4 masterwork chain shirt, +2 shield)
Attacks: Slam +11 melee (or masterwork bastard sword +13 melee); or masterwork shortbow +9 ranged
Damage: Slam 1d6+6 and energy drain; bastard sword 1d10+8; shortbow 1d6
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Charm, energy drain, blood drain, children of the night, create spawn
Special Qualities: Undead, damage reduction 15/+1, cold and electricity resistance 20, gaseous form, spider climb, alternate form, fast healing 3, vampire weaknesses
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +4
Abilities: Str 22, Dex 17, Con —, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 12
Skills: Climb +10, Listen +15, Ride +7, Spot +15
Feats: Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Weapon Focus (bastard sword), Weapon Specialization (bastard sword)

Combat

Undead: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.

The Will save against this vampire’s charm and the Fortitude save to regain levels lost to its energy drain have a DC of 13.

Magic Items Carried: Potion of haste.
Challenge Rating: 7 

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