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 Dhampir: A Guide to Being Half Vampire

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PostSubject: Dhampir: A Guide to Being Half Vampire   Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:24 pm

The half-living children of vampires birthed by human females, dhampirs are progenies of both horror and tragedy. The circumstances of a dhampir's conception are often called into question but scarcely understood, as few mortal mothers survive the childbirth. Those who do often abandon their monstrous children and refuse to speak of the matter. While some speculate that dhampirs result when mortal women couple with vampires, others claim that they form when a pregnant woman suffers a vampire bite. Some particularly zealous scholars even contest dhampirs' status as a unique race, instead viewing them as humans suffering from an unholy affliction. Indeed, this hypothesis is strengthened by dhampirs' seeming inability to reproduce, their offspring inevitably humans (usually sorcerers with the undead bloodline).

Regardless, they live and die just like any other mortal creatures, despite possessing a supernatural longevity akin to that of elves. Hardship and suffering fill a dhampir's formative years. Most grow up as orphans, and despite their exquisite features and innate charm, they face a lifetime of prejudice, mistrust, fear, and persecution. Humans who witness the seemingly sinister nature of a dhampir child's supernatural powers or sensitivity to daylight display an array of reactions ranging from awe to terror to outright hatred. Eventually, a dhampir must learn to cope with these difficulties in order to find his place in the world. While most dhampirs succumb to the innate evil of their undead heritage and devolve into the monstrous fiends depicted by society, a few reject their unholy conceptions, instead vowing to avenge their mothers by hunting the very creatures that sired them. Dhampirs keep few, if any, close companions. Ultimately, the majority of evil dhampirs regard their allies as little more than tools or fodder. Those whom they deem useful are judged by their merits as individuals, not by their race. However, even with those they feel attached to, most dhampirs are sullen and reserved. Some fear the persecution heaped upon them may be transferred to their companions, whereas others worry their own bloodlust will one day overwhelm them and they'll inadvertently turn upon their friends. In any case, an alliance with a dhampir almost always leads to an ill-fated conclusion.

Physical Description: Tall and slender and with well-defined musculature, dhampirs look like statuesque humans of unearthly beauty. Their hair, eye, and skin colors resemble unnerving versions of their mothers'; many possess a ghastly pallor, particularly in the sunlight, while those with dark complexions often possess skin the color of a bruise.

While many dhampirs can pass as humans in ideal conditions, their features are inevitably more pronounced and they move with an unnaturally fluid grace. All dhampirs have elongated incisors. While not true fangs, these teeth are sharp enough to draw blood, and many suffer a reprehensible desire to indulge in sanguinary delights, despite the fact that the act provides most no physical benefit.

Society: Dhampirs have no culture of their own, nor do they have any known lands or even communities. Often born in secret and abandoned at orphanages or left to die on the outskirts of town, they tend to live solitary lives as exiles and outcasts. Individuals acquire the cultural beliefs and teachings of the regions in which they grew up, and adopt additional philosophies over the course of their complex lives. This ability to adapt to a verity of circumstances provides dhampirs with a social camouflage that hides them from both predators and prey. In rare instances, dhampirs might gather to form small groups or cabals dedicated to resolving their joint issues. Even so, the philosophies of such groups reflect the interests of the individuals involved, not any common dhampir culture.

Relations: As dhampirs are scions of evil, few races view them favorably. They share an affinity for those half-breeds whose sinister ancestry also sets them apart from human society, particularly tieflings and half-orcs. Humans view them with a combination of fear and pity, though such feelings often devolve into hatred and violence. Other humanoid races, such as dwarves, elves, and halflings, simply shun them. Similarly, dhampirs bear a deep-seeded loathing for living creatures, their hatred planted by jealousy and fed by frustration.

Alignment and Religion: Most dhampirs succumb to the evil within their blood. They are unnatural creatures, and the foul influence of their undead heritage makes an evil outlook difficult to overcome. Those who struggle against their wicked natures rarely progress beyond a neutral outlook.

Adventurers: The life of an adventurer comes naturally to most dhampirs, since constant persecution condemns many to spend their days wandering. Evil dhampirs keep moving to maintain their secrecy and evade lynch mobs, while those who follow the path of vengeance venture forth in search of their despised fathers. Regardless of their reasons, most dhampirs simply feel more at home on the road than in a settlement. Having little formal training, a great many of these journeyers become fighters and rogues.

Almost universally, those inclined toward magic pursue the field of necromancy, though dhampir alchemists have been known to obsess over transforming their own bodies. Those who feel the call of the hunt often become inquisitors.

Names: Lacking a culture and unified traditions, dhampirs share humans' predilection for a diversity of names, and most keep their human birth names. Many dhampirs take their mother's surname, while others take the surname of the towns or regions in which they were born, or use a surname derived from a significant event.

Standard Racial Traits

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Dhampirs are fast and seductive, but their racial bond to the undead impedes their mortal vigor. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, and –2 Constitution.
  • Type: Dhampirs are humanoids with the dhampir subtype.
  • Size: Dhampirs are Medium creatures and thus have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Base Speed: Dhampirs have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Languages: Dhampirs begin play speaking Common. Those with high Intelligence scores can choose any language it wants (except secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.


Defense Racial Traits

  • Undead Resistance: Dhampirs gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against disease and mind-affecting effects.
  • Resist Level Drain (Ex): A dhampir takes no penalties from energy drain effects, though he can still be killed if he accrues more negative levels then he has Hit Dice. After 24 hours, any negative levels a dhampir takes are removed without the need for an additional saving throw.


Feat and Skill Racial Traits
  • Manipulative: Dhampire gain a +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Perception checks.


Magical Racial Traits
  • Spell-Like Abilities (Su): A dhampir can use detect undead three times per day as a spell-like ability. The caster level for this ability equals the dhampir's class level.


Sense Racial Traits
  • Darkvision: Dhampir see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.
  • Low-light vision: In addition to their ability to see perfectly in the dark up to 60 ft, dhampir have low-light vision, allowing them to see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.


Weakness Racial Traits
  • Light Sensitivity: Dhampirs are dazzled in areas of bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
  • Negative Energy Affinity: Though a living creature, a dhampir reacts to positive and negative energy as if it were undead—positive energy harms it, while negative energy heals it.


Alternate Racial Traits
The following alternate racial traits may be selected in place of one or more of the standard racial traits above. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.
  • Dayborn: A few fortunate dhampirs were born during the day under the blessings of priests, and their blood has weaker ties to their undead bloodline than others of their kind. Such dhampirs are unhindered by daylight and lose the light sensitivity racial trait. This racial trait replaces the spell-like ability racial trait.
  • Fangs: On occasion, a dhampir may inherit his father's lengthy canines. Whenever the dhampir makes a grapple combat maneuver check to damage an opponent, he can choose to bite his opponent, dealing 1d3 points of damage as if using a natural bite attack. As a standard action, the dhampir can bite a creature that is bound, helpless, paralyzed, or similarly unable to defend itself. This racial trait replaces the spell-like ability racial trait.
  • Heir to Undying Nobility: Descended from undead nobility some dhampirs inherit a bit of their ancestors' ability to control living beings. They can use command and charm person each once per day. This racial trait replaces the spell-like ability racial trait.
  • Vampire Hunter: Some dhampirs bear a deep hatred for their undead progenitors and their kin that can never be fully quenched. They gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls against vampires. This racial trait replaces manipulative.
  • Vampiric Empathy: Though dhampirs often relate poorly to humanoids, some share an affinity with baser creatures. These dhampirs gain the ability to communicate with bats, rats, and wolves as if under the effects of a speak with animals spell (caster level equal to 1/2 the dhampir's Hit Dice). In addition, they gain a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks when dealing with these animals. Whenever these dhampirs initiate an exchange, animals begin with a starting attitude of indifferent. This is a supernatural ability. This racial trait replaces manipulative.
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Dhampir: A Guide to Being Half Vampire
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