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  1. #1

    4e Class Conversion: The Vryloka Vampire

    I had an urge today to convert one of my favorite characters I made in 4e (a Living Vampire based on the 4e Players Option: Heroes of Shadow).

    First, a little background on the character.

    Her name is Miri. She is not undead (yet), but is a living descendant of a bloodline which carries the Vampiric Curse. Her national origin is from Barovia and she was a personal bodyguard and loyal servant to Count Strahd.

    Raised from birth to know only His word as law, she would kill, torture, or do any unspeakable thing required to please him that was her Lord and Master and the God of her universe. To her, there was only one truth -- that anything that helped her Master was, by definition, Lawful and Good, and anything which opposed him was, by definition, Chaotic and Evil. If He ordered her to snatch little babies to be served at His dinner table or terrorize and torture the local townsfolk, it was, by definition, his Lawful right and never could she conceive of anything more Grand or Noble or Good.

    One day, her world was turned on it's ear. She was sent to hunt down, like the Chaotic Evil scum he was in her mind, a Noble Knight that had stumbled into the dimension of Ravenloft and become lost. She cornered him, but inconceivably she was defeated in battle. She begged and pleaded that he take her life, such was the great shame and dishonor for failing her Master, but the Knight would not. Nor would he release her to go back to her Master and receive her rightful and just torture.

    Over the days and weeks spent in the captivity of this foul beast, he talked to her of lands far distant and ways so foreign - about how her Master was the one that was Evil and his was the path to Righteousness. She would not listen; could not listen to such mad ravings. She explained that her Master was Good and His ways the Right. But, the Knight's tongue had persuasiveness and his features became pleasant and alluring over time. "What magic could this be to be-spell me so?" But, gradually she came to see his ways were True and his respect for life the Right and Good -- and his lips so tender.

    Finally understanding the horrors that she had perpetrated her whole life on others and the horrors that He had done to her, she swore to follow the Knight forever and to the ends of the Universe. Together they found a dimension gate to the knight's land of Ferrune. Together they travel the Sword Coast, smiting Evil and saving the innocents. She has so much to make penance for, but the Knight assures her that Avandra and Bahamut will notice her heart has changed and aid her in her quest for redemption and revenge against Lord Strahd when the time is right.

    While she is still blood dependent, as she always will be, she has found ways to be gentle and do no harm to the innocents that keep her alive -- in fact, she has found ways that make it a very pleasant experience to the donor rather than the horrific that it was before and those who liaison with her, always come back begging for more. When she "Plays with her Food" these days, it has a much different meaning than it did in the past.

    A note on the origins of the legacy of this type of vampire in my campaign: The concept of the Living Vampire portrayed here is derived mostly from the Rachel Morgan novel series of Kim Harrison, where not all vampires are undead nor evil. It isn't until they pass beyond the grave where they go mad with blood lust due to the loss of their soul and do evil things unless they had a mind to do so beforehand.

    If anyone finds this character concept interesting, I'll be happy to write up some of the details on how I converted the class from 4e to 5e. It's a really fun class to play and so rich for RP.
    Last edited by vodokar; July 26th, 2014 at 09:02.

  2. #2
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    Nice one Vodokar.

  3. #3
    Thank you.

    I'll go ahead and begin putting some information on how I did the conversion, as well as, some design notes explaining the reasoning behind the changes I made.

    Let me say first before I start. Clearly, I have derived this from copywrited material and thus I can not provide complete information. It would still be necessary to own the book Players Option: Heroes of Shadow from 4th edition D&D credited to Mike Mearls, Claudio Pozas and Robert Schwalb to reference the full information you will need. However, as I have diverged quite a bit from base design of the original work, I will present and explain those changes.

    Firstly, let me say that although I found enough in the original presentation of the class to be very inspiring to me, I also found some things in the base design that always bugged me as not being very thematic to the vampire.

    For example, the original design had the vampire gain regeneration upon being bloodied. If they were healthy with greater than 50% of their health, they didn't regenerate, but if they are losing blood all over everywhere, their regeneration kicks in. Thematically, that makes no sense to me. They get stronger when they have less blood? Also, tying their regeneration directly to hit point total doesn't make sense to me either. I have done something different.

    The vampires source of strength and power is blood. Thus, their strength and power must be derived from the amount of blood that they have available. They use up this blood to empower various vampiric powers and to heal and regenerate. Gaining of blood above a certain amount makes them stronger. Loss of blood below a certain amount makes them weaker. They gain this blood in discretely measurable volumes by use of certain vampiric blood feeding powers and features. They lose blood by taking damage in combat or by expending it to drive various powers.

    I have called this discretely measurable volume of blood the "Blood Surge". The expending or gaining of a Blood Surge represents the taking of blood to gain and store potential vampiric energy or the losing of blood to lose or expend potential vampiric energy. Thus, the amount of vampiric potential energy stored in the number of blood surges the vampire has available at any given time is the central core that all of the vampire's powers and abilities revolve. It is not directly tied to how many hit points they have.

    Next: An explanation of the Blood Surge - how it works and how it affects the vampire

  4. #4
    The vampire starts with a baseline of having 2 Blood Surge volume of blood. At 2 Blood Surges, the vampire has normal access to their powers and abilities. Falling below this has negative consequences. Going above this provides positive consequences.

    Blood Dependency
    _______________
    Blood Starved
    0 Blood Surge: No regeneration. -3 to all Saving Throws. -3 to all Checks. -3 penalty to Armor Class. -3 penalty to damage rolls of your vampire powers. Inability to use certain designated vampiric powers or features of powers.
    Blood Withdrawal
    1 Blood Surge: Regeneration equal to Charisma modifier -1, (minimum 0). -1 to all Saving Throws. -1 to all Checks. -1 penalty to Armor Class. -1 penalty to damage rolls of your vampire powers.
    Blood Normalcy
    2 Blood Surge: Regeneration equal to Charisma modifier (minimum 0). Ability to utilize all vampiric powers, abilities and features as normal.
    Blood Infused
    3 Blood Surge: Regeneration equal to Charisma modifier +1 (minimum 0). +1 to all Saving Throws. +1 to all Checks. +1 bonus to Armor Class. +1 bonus to damage rolls of your vampire powers.
    Blood Sated
    4 Blood Surge: Regeneration equal to Charisma modifier +3 (minimum 0). +3 to all Saving Throws. +3 to all Checks. +3 bonus to Armor Class. +3 bonus to damage rolls of your vampire powers.

    A vampire may store more than 4 Blood Surge, but it grants no additional bonuses. It may, however, be used to empower their vampiric powers and to heal.

    After a Long Rest, a vampire loses any Blood Surge above 2, however, they heal all hp back to full provided they had more than 2 Blood Surges available prior to taking the Long Rest.

    At higher levels, the vampire gains the ability to retain more than 2 Blood Surge after a Long Rest, as specified in the gaining of certain vampiric abilities as they level.

    RP Aspects of Blood Dependancy:

    Falling below Blood Normalcy makes the vampire somewhat distracted, disinterested, disengaged, irritable, and mentally and physically impaired.
    Increasing above Blood Normalcy makes the vampire more alert, bubbly, cheerful, vibrant, sexually charged and mentally and physically energized.

    For lack of a better analogy: Blood Dependency is akin to an addiction to Cocaine with the associated highs and lows. The main difference, however, is that the vampire can't "kick the habit" because they would die without blood.
    Last edited by vodokar; July 26th, 2014 at 18:41.

  5. #5
    Next let me discuss the main difference between a vampire and a normal character: how they are healed.

    A vampire may not use the Hit Dice system for healing.

    A vampire may not be healed by magical means of any type (potion, spell, scroll, device, whatever).

    A vampire only heals by the following means:

    1. Expending a Blood Surge (Heal 1d10 + Constitution modifier + Level)
    2. Regeneration provided by the Enduring Soul vampire feature
    3. Use of the Blood Is Life vampire feature
    4. Taking a Long Rest while having more than 2 Blood Surge left
    5. As enabled by specific vampire powers or features.

    Even though healing magic doesn't work on vampires, they can still be revived from death by magic, as a Living Vampire still has a soul to be brought back. As long as the appropriate spell is cast within the time constraints, they can be brought back. Beyond that time, they rise as soulless undead.

    Medicine Checks may be made on vampires to stabilize them, however, it entails the willing offering of a small amount of blood by their ally. Without this, normal First Aid has no effect.

    Next: I will lay out the experience chart.
    Last edited by vodokar; July 26th, 2014 at 18:19.

  6. #6
    Total Exp----------Level--------------Proficiency Bonus------------- Class Features-------------------Class Powers------------- Vryloka Racial Features----------------Vryloka Racial Powers
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ________
    -------0-----------------1-------------------------+2-------------------- Child of the Night----------------Dark Beckoning-------------Living Dead---------------------------------Lifeblood
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Blood is Life---------------------Taste of Life-----------------Human Heritage
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Enduring Soul------------------ Vampire Slam----------------Vampiric Heritage
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Hidden Might--------------------Blood Drinker***
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Out for Blood-------------------Swarm of Shadows
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Vampiric Reflexes

    -----300----------------2------------------------+2------------------------------------------------------Utility Power
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Feral Assault
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Blood Orgy

    -----900----------------3------------------------+2-----------------------Ability Score Increase-----------Strength of Blood

    ---2700-----------------4------------------------+2-------------------------------------------------------Unfettered Hunger
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Form of the Bat

    ---6500-----------------5------------------------+3------------------------------------------------------ Improved Blood Drinker

    -14000------------------6------------------------+3-----------------------Ability Score Increase-----------Domineering Gaze
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------Night Crawler

    -23000------------------7------------------------+3-------------------------------------------------------Gaseous Form

    -34000------------------8------------------------+3---------------------------Ability Score Increase--------Bloodline Utility Power
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Blood Lord
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bloodline Feature
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Vampiric Action

    -48000------------------9-----------------------+4----------------------------Enduring Reserves


    -64000-----------------10-----------------------+4----------------------------Ability Score Increase---------Hungry Swarm*

    -85000-----------------11-----------------------+4-----------------------------Bloodline Feature--------------Shared Blood


    100000-----------------12-----------------------+4-----------------------------Ability Score Increase---------Unleashed Fury


    120000-----------------13-----------------------+5-----------------------------Vital Consumption

    140000-----------------14-----------------------+5------------------------------Ability Score Increase--------Bloodline Daily Power
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Epic Destiny Feature

    165000-----------------15-----------------------+5----------------------------------------------------------------Utility Power

    195000-----------------16-----------------------+5------------------------------Ability Score Increase-------------Energized Blood Drinker
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Epic Destiny Feature

    225000-----------------17-----------------------+6-----------------------------------------------------------------Irresistible Gaze

    265000-----------------18-----------------------+6------------------------------Epic Destiny Feature

    305000-----------------19-----------------------+6------------------------------Ability Score Increase

    355000-----------------20-----------------------+6------------------------------Epic Destiny Feature------------Consuming Swarm**

    * Hungry Swarm replaces Swarm of Shadows
    ** Consuming Swarm replaces Hungry Swarm
    ***Blood Drinker may be used 4 times per day


    Out for Blood - Bonus Action. Target: Self. At the cost of spending 1 Blood Surge, the vampire may use Out for Blood to take an extra action. Limited to no more than twice per Short Rest.

    Blood Orgy - Reaction: You attacked a bloodied enemy. Target: Self. Upon seeing the blood of your enemy, you can no longer control your hunger. You become blood crazed and can think of nothing but sucking your enemy dry. You scream like a beast as you agressively sweep past its defenses in a blur of motion, pull it down to the ground climbing on top and sinking your teeth into it, sucking deeply. You won't let go for any reason until it is dead from being completely sucked dry. You do 2d10 extra damage to your enemy and you gain 2 Blood Surges. The enemy is both prone, restrained and stunned. Likewise, you are prone and incapacitated. You continue to do 1d10 automatic damage each turn and can not make any other attacks or move away until this creature has been drained dry of all it's blood. Limited to no more than once per Short Rest.
    Last edited by vodokar; July 28th, 2014 at 19:44.

  7. #7
    When you become bloodied (hit points 50% or less than your Maximum Hit Points), you lose 1 Blood Surge.
    When you have lost 75% of your hit points, you lose another Blood Surge.

    Key Point:

    Should you heal above one of those thresholds and then take damage driving you below the threshold again, you again suffer the loss of a Blood Surge. While the strength of the vampire is her ability to regenerate and heal physical damage, it can also be her downfall, as her lifeblood flows on the ground - ultimately leaving her helpless to repair the physical damage she has taken or energize her powers and leaving her stumbling around the battlefield.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Examples of Limits on Powers
    ------------------

    At-Will Powers
    ---------------
    Dark Beckoning
    Taste of Life
    Vampire Slam

    Short Rest Powers
    ------------------
    Feral Assault - once until taking short rest
    Blood Orgy - once until taking short rest
    Life Blood - once until taking short rest
    Out for Blood - twice until taking short rest

    Long Rest (Daily)
    ------------------
    Blood Drinker - 4 times until taking Long Rest
    Swarm of Shadows - once until taking Long Rest
    Unnatural Vitality - once until taking Long Rest

    Basically, a 4e encounter power becomes a Short Rest power in 5e (with the definition of short rest being equal to 1 hr). A daily power in 4e becomes a Long Rest power in 5e. My experience with my group is that they tend to take a Short Rest after 3 to 4 encounters, so I have the amount of times you can use the power between Short Rests balanced towards that. The difference in the duration of Short Rest between 4e and 5e is significant because they tend to be taken less frequently, thus allowing the more powerful abilities and powers to be balanced in a 5e world.

    Secondly, many of the vampire powers must be triggered by specific situations on the batllefield, rather than anytime the player wishes. Also, some come at the expenditure of a Blood Surge, which can directly and greatly affect the overall performance of the vampire. In my mind, this presents great strategic choices for the player to make. ex. She is running low on Blood Surges. Should she use her Blood Orgy to do significant damage to her enemy and gain 2 Blood Surges for herself, when she knows that it will make her prone and incapacitated until the enemy is dead? Can she risk giving in to her hunger? There is a right time to use each power and most definitely a wrong time for each. Choices.

  10. #10
    Just curious if anyone found this project to be useful. My intent doing it was mostly personal, and thus, regardless, fulfilling, yet it also was to share something with the community that might be interesting in whole or in part.

    To give a little perspective on this project, my D&D background is mostly AD&D 1e, which I still play, and am now heartily embracing 5e, however, I did play 4e for about 3 years actively. The intent of this project wasn't to 4e'ify, if you will, 5e or anything of the sort. However, I personally felt that some of the most creative work they did on 4e came in that last year of it's life, with the Essentials Players Options books, covering ground that I don't really think had ever been covered, with playable living vampires, pixies, witches and such.

    As I have a personal liking to some of the modern Urban Fantasy works such as Dresden Files and Kim Harrison's Hollows series, the books Heroes of Shadow and Heroes of the Feywild books kinda spoke to my imagination about how to bring some of these more modern takes on these mythical creatures could be brought to D&D. It is that aspect that I wanted to bring to 5e.

    At any rate, I'm contemplating as a next project, perhaps porting my Pixie Bard, SparrowHawk, to see what it would look like.

    As for Miri, she is currently roving the Sword Coast and doesn't have time currently to return fan mail, but if you enclose a SASE, she promises to send a signed picture when she can.

    She has made it to 3rd level now and is a pretty powerful character, but as she is technically a DM run NPC, I keep her on a tight leash as not to overshadow my son's PC characters. The role playing possibilities she brings to the campaign has made it more than worth it.
    Last edited by vodokar; August 4th, 2014 at 03:02.

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