Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

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Night Drifter
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Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#1 Postby Night Drifter » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:03 pm

I don't know where to post this thread at but as for consideration of looking for alternatives to White Wolf's Vampire: the Masquerade and Requiem although I do know that White Wolf already has a supplement for Werewolf: the Wild West but however though the Vampire aspect is stuck in the Victorian Age which I want nothing to do with since there's a few things I dislike about Victorian Era settings than Old West settings due to personal reasons nor do I have to be a Werewolf just play in the setting.

Of course the main point of this thread is it possible to play as Vampires in Deadlands? Since for example I really want to make a female drifter vampire gunslinger (who is like the female version of Caleb from Blood) with the same powers as the literary Dracula but with slight altered weaknesses I would keep is that sunlight weakens her vampiric powers but doesn't burn her though, True Faith harms/repeals her (as in crosses, holy water, etc only works if the wielder has real faith in it), she can sleep anywhere but her native soil heals her the most, she cannot enter a home without invitation (rather she could enter a home uninvited but I would borrow from Lost Boys saying that the who invited her in is powerless as in her vampiric weaknesses are nulled), I think she could cross running stream of water (rather oxygen is not required when she's swimming in water), stakes through the heart only paralyze her (borrowing from VtM of course) and not so sure about the other ones though but rather I'm building a Vampire type that is designed to have a easier time and more convenient travel through the Weird West than the common Kindred style vampires from VtM while still keeping the Dracula style aesthetics (like the supernatural features and powers/weaknesses for example) and mixing it in with "Near Dark" as a inspiration.

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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#2 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:41 pm

Welcome.

It's theoretically possible, but would require a lot of negotiation with your Marshal.
Note that Deadlands vampires are very Stoker (ignoring the disposable feral vamps). They have none of White Wolf's mythology, following their own rules.

However, you could easily play a Harrowed version of that character. Being an undead, demon-possessed badass gives you a lot of potential magical powers, makes you very hard to kill, and has some potentially terrible drawbacks.
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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#3 Postby Night Drifter » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:58 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:However, you could easily play a Harrowed version of that character. Being an undead, demon-possessed badass gives you a lot of potential magical powers, makes you very hard to kill, and has some potentially terrible drawbacks.


Well I don't think Harrowed are specifically Vampires what I'm looking for and plus I don't think anything that is demon-possessed is supposed to be playable well rather I would rather still have my own soul rather than having a demon hijacking my former corpse. In short: the concept of the Undead or Vampires I'm looking for are not demon possessed but rather the human soul locked in undead flesh who must sustain themselves on the blood of the living to survive, pretty still keeping the essence of 'you' in a way.

Also what about playing as something from Native American legends that is closest to their vampire/undead myths? Rather supernaturals that directly come from Native American folklore/Mythology not Christian/Abrahamic ones.

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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#4 Postby SteelDraco » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:38 pm

I've had a vampire-like PC in a game before, though it wasn't specifically Savage Worlds. I would advise you to have them start with a bare minimum of vampire powers, balanced by fairly light drawbacks. If they want to continue investing in their vampiric nature, they have to take more and more vampiric flaws to balance those powers.

I would probably give them something like Arcane Background: Vampirism, with a Spirit-linked Power in the Blood skill. Give them a relatively generous pool of power points... but those power points don't regenerate. You have to drink human blood to regain power points. Maybe each PP regained costs a level of Fatigue on a target, or they have a number of PP in them equal to their Vigor die, so an average human has 6 blood points from a d6 Vigor, and regains those at a rage of 1/day or something. (This is drawing heavy inspiration from White Wolf here).

A vampire has to spend 1 power point each day just to survive. They can spend blood on vampiric Powers, drawn from the normal powers list. Boost Trait (boost only, self only) comes for free with the AB, allowing them to do core vampiric stuff like being super strong (Boost Strength) or charming (Boost Persuasion). More exotic powers can be taken as normal, for stuff like growing claws (Smite power) or rapidly healing wounds (Healing power, self-only but doesn't suffer wound penalties to the roll).

Weakness-wise, maybe your starting vampire can't use his Powers in daylight. That's consistent with the original mythology of Dracula - he lost all of his powers in the day, but could walk around just fine. Vampires are obviously undead, so most beneficial miracles won't work on them, and priests and such will notice them relatively quickly.

If you want to start getting to some of the better vampire powers - maybe gated at Seasoned/Veteran/Heroic powers - you have to start taking on more vampire weaknesses, similar to how Deadlands Mad Scientists work. Want to turn into mist (Intangibility)? OK, but now you can't cross running water or you suffer 3d10 unsoakable damage. Want to learn to turn into a bat? OK, but now all normal animals hate you and will hiss and rear if you get too close.

That would be the framework I would use for a Deadlands vampire PC. I used it successfully for a half-vampire PC in Alternity ages and ages ago, and I think it'd work reasonably well.

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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#5 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:58 pm

Night Drifter wrote:
ValhallaGH wrote:However, you could easily play a Harrowed version of that character. Being an undead, demon-possessed badass gives you a lot of potential magical powers, makes you very hard to kill, and has some potentially terrible drawbacks.

Well I don't think Harrowed are specifically Vampires what I'm looking for and plus I don't think anything that is demon-possessed is supposed to be playable well rather I would rather still have my own soul rather than having a demon hijacking my former corpse.


A) Harrowed are a legit playable option. There are rules for creating them as starting PCs. They are not vampires, but they are sentient, unique, ensouled undead with amazing supernatural powers that have unnatural eating habits.
B) The character is in a struggle with the demon for control. The corpse isn't hijacked, it's a time share with occupants that have very different ideas of good housekeeping.
C) The mechanics for being a playable vampire will be dependent upon which rule set your Marshal is using. How to do things in Classic is very different from how they'd be done in Reloaded. Which rules will you be using?

Seriously, if you're not already talking about this with your Marshal then you're doing it all wrong.

Do vampire gunslingers exist in Deadlands? Yes. Are any of the existing ones remotely playable? Only if your posse is willing to drag around your coffin during the day (and deal with a soulless monster that will feast upon their life at any reasonable excuse). Do any of them have a combination of restrictions resembling what you've described? Nope.

Good luck.
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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#6 Postby jamiemalk » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:55 am

Rascals Varmints And Critters II from classic has rules for vampiric PCs which have a slightly VTM/Buffy feel to them, but the degeneration rules are very hash, you gain corruption points for every time you feed. You could use it as a starting point to try and work out some thing with your marshal though...

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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#7 Postby Night Drifter » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:33 am

jamiemalk wrote:Rascals Varmints And Critters II from classic has rules for vampiric PCs which have a slightly VTM/Buffy feel to them, but the degeneration rules are very hash, you gain corruption points for every time you feed. You could use it as a starting point to try and work out some thing with your marshal though...


It sounds like the system itself strongly discourages you playing as a vampire by design.

I guess you have to change/alter the system itself to be more accommodating playing as a Vampire.

ValhallaGH wrote:Do vampire gunslingers exist in Deadlands? Yes. Are any of the existing ones remotely playable? Only if your posse is willing to drag around your coffin during the day (and deal with a soulless monster that will feast upon their life at any reasonable excuse). Do any of them have a combination of restrictions resembling what you've described? Nope.

Good luck.


Well I've also brought up the possibility of Vampires not requiring to sleep in a coffin like in VtM for example (or they could earth meld into the soil until nightfall) which eliminates that problem.

Also I don't like the idea of Vampires being "souless" either rather I'd prefer the idea that they still have their human souls (as in a way that it's still you not a demon possessing your corpse like in Buffy) but are locked in stagnant undead flesh and requiring blood of the living to survive (as in Vampirism is just another form of postmortem immortality as in vampirism is one of the ways of cheating inevitable mortal death, not some Evil Deadisque Deadite type).

Of course another possibility is a All Vampire party (imagine like a Coterie or a Sabbat style Pack) or going solo.

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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#8 Postby ValhallaGH » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:55 am

Apologies, I should have been asking this in my first response.
Night Drifter wrote:I don't know where to post this thread at but as for consideration of looking for alternatives to White Wolf's Vampire: the Masquerade and Requiem although I do know that White Wolf already has a supplement for Werewolf: the Wild West but however though the Vampire aspect is stuck in the Victorian Age which I want nothing to do with since there's a few things I dislike about Victorian Era settings than Old West settings due to personal reasons nor do I have to be a Werewolf just play in the setting.

Of course the main point of this thread is it possible to play as Vampires in Deadlands?

What exactly are you hoping to get out of this thread?
Are you looking for a new system to let you play Vampire: The Wild West? Are you looking for supporting arguments when you negotiate with your Marshal about letting you play a vampire gunslinger? Are you looking for the setting-lore about vampires and the various strains of vampirism?
What is the goal of this thread?
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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#9 Postby corwyn » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:36 am

This seems like the perfect use for trappings and reskinning. I would start with harrowed as between the condition and the powers, it covers alot of what you want to do. First off, I would change the eating meat to heal to drinking blood. Maybe toss in inability to heal during daylight. You don't want the possession aspect but again, reskin it to something like the beast or bloodlust from V:tM. Dominion would reflect the blood lust or predatory nature taking control of the character. As far as appearance, you could exchange the death wound and other harrowed physical characteristics for some more in line with traditional vampire tells, ie pale, red eyes, fangs, etc

You might want to look at the vampire PC race in the horror companion for inspiration or use it as is. Not sure how balanced those races are for use in Deadlands but cant hurt to look.

I think re-skin and modify is the easiest and least likely to upset the applecart option.

Good Luck and let us know how it turns out.

Corwyn

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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#10 Postby Night Drifter » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:02 pm

corwyn wrote:This seems like the perfect use for trappings and reskinning. I would start with harrowed as between the condition and the powers, it covers alot of what you want to do. First off, I would change the eating meat to heal to drinking blood. Maybe toss in inability to heal during daylight. You don't want the possession aspect but again, reskin it to something like the beast or bloodlust from V:tM. Dominion would reflect the blood lust or predatory nature taking control of the character. As far as appearance, you could exchange the death wound and other harrowed physical characteristics for some more in line with traditional vampire tells, ie pale, red eyes, fangs, etc

You might want to look at the vampire PC race in the horror companion for inspiration or use it as is. Not sure how balanced those races are for use in Deadlands but cant hurt to look.

I think re-skin and modify is the easiest and least likely to upset the applecart option.

Good Luck and let us know how it turns out.

Corwyn


First of all, I don't want to reskin/trap anything but rather present Vampires as a separate splat to Harrows. Also I reject the concept of "Vampires being predators by nature" especially since the beast is one of the reasons that I don't like VtM to be honest (although I'll take the pale, red eyes, fangs though) since I rather present vampires as simply undead beings that require blood to remain functioning pretty much.

ValhallaGH wrote:Apologies, I should have been asking this in my first response.
Night Drifter wrote:I don't know where to post this thread at but as for consideration of looking for alternatives to White Wolf's Vampire: the Masquerade and Requiem although I do know that White Wolf already has a supplement for Werewolf: the Wild West but however though the Vampire aspect is stuck in the Victorian Age which I want nothing to do with since there's a few things I dislike about Victorian Era settings than Old West settings due to personal reasons nor do I have to be a Werewolf just play in the setting.

Of course the main point of this thread is it possible to play as Vampires in Deadlands?

What exactly are you hoping to get out of this thread?
Are you looking for a new system to let you play Vampire: The Wild West? Are you looking for supporting arguments when you negotiate with your Marshal about letting you play a vampire gunslinger? Are you looking for the setting-lore about vampires and the various strains of vampirism?
What is the goal of this thread?


I thought my OP was clear anough. I was originally asking if it was possible to play as a Vampire or what kind of Vampires that are already available in Deadlands to play as or do I have to homebrew things?

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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#11 Postby SeeleyOne » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:14 pm

I personally prefer the Beast and being a predator thing. It fits since they drink blood after all.

Yes, you can have them. No, there is not currently rules that people have shared for them. I say "have shared" because there are people that have written their own but I am not aware of any off-hand. I have not shared mine yet. I have the base vampire template be worth 0-points (balanced by the weaknesses, and only the bare-bones vampire characteristics). I did this so that it could be applied to a character at any time without breaking the relative power level between characters.
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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#12 Postby ValhallaGH » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:45 pm

So, time for a new playable race.
Obviously, you'd have to get this approved by your Marshal.

Vampires (total +2, same as Human; assumes you're playing Reloaded)
Supernatural Speed: One extra non-movement action per turn and incurs no multi-action penalty for it. (+3)
Mighty: Increase Strength, and maximum Strength, by two die types. (+4)
Dead: Doesn't breathe, immune to disease and poison, ignore one level of Wound penalties, have +2 Toughness, and get +2 to recover from Shaken. Cannot be healed by magic or medical skill. Can never become Harrowed. (+8)
Bloody Rejuvenation: As long as they have a source of fresh blood, about one pint, vampires can make a Natural Healing roll each day. Additionally, whenever a vampire would gain a permanent injury, it may make a natural healing roll once recovered from the Incapacitation that caused the injury; on a success, the injury heals in 1d6 days. (+3)
Bloody Reputation: Vampires are monsters of legend, with many dark deeds attributed to them, and a deeply unsettling natural aura. They suffer -2 Charisma when dealing with most people. (-1)
Blood Dependence: Vampires require a small amount of blood to sustain their existence. Each day the vampire goes without at least a cup of fresh blood imposes a level of Fatigue until Incapacitated. The next day, the vampire enters a state of torpor indistinguishable from death. A vampire can be revived from torpor with a full gallon of fresh blood. (-2)
Fires of Hades: Fire and Holy attacks are both especially effective against vampires, dealing +4 damage or imposing -4 on rolls to resist their effects. (-2)
Unnatural Evil: Vampires always count as supernaturally evil creatures, making them vulnerable to the edges Champion and Holy Warrior, the miracles protection and sanctify, and other effects. (-2)
Competing Evil: Vampires cannot be Blessed. Further, they suffer -2 when using Mad Science, Hucksterism, Hex Slinging, or Shamanism. (-2)
Servant of Death: Vampires are creatures of death, and posses the Grim Servant o' Death hindrance. (-2)
Weakness (Garlic): Vampires suffer -2 to Fighting attacks against anyone who carries garlic. (-1)
Weakness (Stakes): A called shot to the heart can allow a foe to drive a stake into the vampire. In addition to being incredibly painful and potentially fatal, such attacks will almost always leave the vampire paralyzed and helpless. A called shot to the Vitals, with a wooden weapon, has the usual effects; after resolving the attack, the Vampire must make a Vigor roll at -2 or be Incapacitated. (-1)
Weakness (Sunlight): Sunlight isn't fatal but it is uncomfortable. Vampires suffer -2 to all Trait rolls while in direct sunlight. (-2)
Weakness (Unwelcome): Vampires can enter a residence uninvited, but lose access to their supernatural abilities while trespassing. These abilities are regained if invited by a resident or owner. (-1)

The various supernatural powers would be acquired via Edges. There are a ton of Harrowed powers that can be stolen for most of the vampiric abilities (claws, fast-feeding, unnatural cold, summon swarms of insects, raise dead minions, etc.). You don't even need to change requirements for most of them.

If you're playing Classic then that's pretty useless. If you're playing Reloaded then that should work.
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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#13 Postby ValhallaGH » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:01 pm

Night Drifter wrote:I thought my OP was clear anough. I was originally asking if it was possible to play as a Vampire or what kind of Vampires that are already available in Deadlands to play as or do I have to homebrew things?

Oh! Thought I clearly answered all those with my first post.

Respectively:
Sort of, not really.
There are Nosferatu: semi-feral, look like V:tM veterans expect, murder monsters; Penanggalen: asian flying-head night hunters; Wampyr: zombie-looking (still decaying) spreaders of the vampire plague; various "Cinematic" vampires ranging from a Buffy-like fresh vampire to the monster that would eventually inspire Stoker (the famous book first released in 1897, about 20 years after Deadlands is set).
You're going to have to homebrew. The easiest, and most balanced, approach is to change the Trappings on Harrowed, as corwyn suggested.

Depending upon the rules being used (Classic, Reloaded, d20, G.U.R.P.S., or the other one or two systems that had Deadlands versions) that creation could range from easy to virtually impossible to balance. If the Marshal doesn't mind one character overshadowing the rest of the posse then balance may not be an issue.
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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#14 Postby Jounichi » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:15 pm

While vampires do exist in the setting, and there are some specific examples in the many bestiaries, you needn't feel beholden to them. If you want to custom build a vampire race, reskin Harrowed, or just use the race as it exists in the Horror Companion you're good. Just keep in mind the restrictions which may exist. Going out in direct sunlight is a big no-no, so that limits a lot of options for interaction. Such a PC can practically forget buying guns and ammo from the local general store.
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Re: Vampires as PCs (in Deadlands)

#15 Postby SeeleyOne » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:27 pm

I found this to be helpful when making my own version: http://www.godwars2.org/SavageWorlds/SavageUndead.pdf
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