D&D 5E Halloween characters: the Druid is a vampire


The tingling means it’s working!
I'm playing in WotC's charity D&D game on November 2nd. When I signed up I hadn't really given much thought to a character; I figured I'd play my "usual", which is some form of swashbuckling rogue/fighter.

But then I realized the game is two days after Halloween. And I read the new Wildshape rules for Druid. And I thought, "I could totally play a druid as a vampire." So that's what I'm doing, and the build is below. I had a lot of fun putting it together; it's my hope that other folks take a stab at building other characters as halloween monsters. It's CharOp as costumes!

If you'd like to contribute to the Extra Life charity drive (and make this character more powerful) you can do so here. Without further ado:

The vampire druid
The new 5th Edition D&D rules allow Druids to shapeshift into animal forms. One of the allowed forms is a bat. Another is a hound. This was the inspiration to have my character play up the vampire act, and honestly would have been enough for me to commit to the bit. What I didn't expect was how well the game rules support the concept.

For example: the Druid's spell list includes spells like Animal Friendship, Speak With Animals, Charm Person, and Fog Cloud--all classic vampire powers. At higher levels he can summon storms and dominate animals. This is good stuff!

Then I looked into racial powers and feats. As a high elf, my character has the ability to cast a wizard cantrip. I chose Chill Touch, for that cold-from-beyond-the-grave vibe. For a feat, I picked Divine Disciple. This gives my character two cleric cantrips and a single cleric spell. For the spell I picked Cause Fear. Because Cause Fear.

But the cantrips are the best part. Spare the Dying is a spell that restores a dying creature to 1 hit point (the classic blood-as-life vampire trope). And Thaumaturgy lets my character do all kinds of spooky tricks, like magically change his eye color to blood red, snuff out candles, slam doors shut, or--get this--cause thunder to rumble in the distance. Just the thing to throw in every time someone says his name. Or counts numbers.

It's perfect.

Count Nekolai Vladov
High Elf Druid 4/Rogue 1 (my time slot in the drive starts at 4th level, and I got +1 level from donations. For purposes of this build, start as Rogue and multi into Druid)
Str 8 Dex 14 Con 12 Int 11 Wis 16 Cha 14
Race features: elf proficiencies, low-light vision, trance, keen senses, fey ancestry, cantrip (Chill Touch), extra language.
Background: Noble
Languages: Common, Elven, Draconic (high elf bonus), Infernal (Noble bonus), Druidic
Skills: History, Insight, Persuasion (Noble), Religion (Druid), Deception, Stealth, Acrobatics, Intimidation (Rogue).
Tools: Gaming set, mounts (land), Thieves' tools, herbalism kit
Proficiencies: light and medium armor, wooden shields, druid and rogue weapons.
Saving throws: Dexterity and Wisdom.
Class features: Expertise (+5 to Deception, Acrobatics, Intimidation, Persuasion). Sneak attack 1d6. Wild Shape 2/long rest.
Path features (Circle of the Land: Mountain): Bonus Cantrip, Natural Recovery (recover 3 spell levels per day). Spells of the land: Spider Climb, Spike Growth, Elemental Mantle, Meld Into Stone.
Feat: Divine Disciple.
Equipment: Dragon scale armor, longbow, rapier, dagger, polished wood buckler, fine clothes, cape.
Spells prepared (6 plus Circle spells):
0: Chill Touch, Thaumaturgy, Spare the Dying, Druidcraft, Guidance, Read Magic
1: Cause Fear (1/day, doesn't count against spells per day), Animal Friendship, Charm Person, Fog Cloud
2: Darkvision, Hold Person (Spike Growth, Spider Climb)
3: Call Lightning (Elemental Mantle, Meld Into Stone)

I'm not 100% committed to the level of rogue. On the one hand, sneak attack makes him a bit more deadly (including animal forms) and makes him a much more accomplished manipulator. On the other hand, a level of fighter would let him take the Protection style, which dramatically increases survivability. On a mutant third hand, a level of monk would greatly aid AC in animal form (he'd still wear dragon scale in human form) and make him a more viable melee threat. And Slow Fall would really help when he's shot out of the sky as a bat. :)
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The tingling means it’s working!
Almost forgot the retainers from Noble background.

Yuri, the butler. Half orc. Advantage on Intimidation keeps the riffraff from the mansion's door, and a strong back is always useful.

Alexei, the valet. High Elf. Prestidigitation helps him clean the Count's clothes and mansion, and light (or snuff) candles.

Renfield, the lackey. Forest Gnome, so he can talk to animals. And the minor illusion will come in handy as he goes about his skulking duties.

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