D&D 5E Player wanting to become vampire/half-vampire??

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
So, one of the players in the game I'm running for my son (middle school, level 12 now) had an idea months and months ago for one of his characters to try and become a vampire. A priestess of Hecate said she would try if he caught one and brought it to here. The vampire escaped being caught, and they had to move on...

But then they caught the one in white plume mountain. And then they saved a huge Kami from mind flayer domination, they're probably owed some favors and he wants to try again.

So...
(1) Any helpful thoughts on a partial transformation that could let him still get out and about? Or a full one that would but not turn him into a bloodsucking undead monster?
(2) Anything/one in Japanese mythology/legend that might be appropriate for trying such a thing? They're currently in the pseudo-Japan section of the world, and if needed have earned an audience with the emperor. He might be willing to trade Blackrazor as part of the deal.
 

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moriantumr

Explorer
I would want to know why the player wants to be a vampire. To be cool? To get some benefits from it? To eat people?
Why does the pc seek this? It sounds the pc has some desire, but does it understand what being a vampire entails?
I would ask my player in an aside what they want from this, and figure out if you are willing to grant what they want. If you okay it and make them a vampire but it is not what they are hoping or expecting it to be, it will feel bad for both of you.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I would want to know why the player wants to be a vampire. To be cool? To get some benefits from it? To eat people?
Why does the pc seek this? It sounds the pc has some desire, but does it understand what being a vampire entails?
I would ask my player in an aside what they want from this, and figure out if you are willing to grant what they want. If you okay it and make them a vampire but it is not what they are hoping or expecting it to be, it will feel bad for both of you.
My guess is that it's to be cool...

The being that helps him with it will discuss what he's giving up by doing it (I'm hoping he thinks the Dhampir sounds a lot better than Vampire...).
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
What kind of game are you running? Is the tone a bit more serious, do you guys stick to the rules, or is the game a bit more goofy and loose with how things are handled?

The Dhampir from WotC (I think it was in Wild Beyond the Witchlight?) could work. But if the game is a little more serious or story-driven, it might be interesting for your son to explore why he wants to become a vampire and how that might change how people view him. Maybe even having him talk to the vampire you guys captured to get a sense of what his life has been like (I mean it can't be going all that well if he was being hunted and captured by your PCs). What role do vampires have in your game world?
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
What kind of game are you running? Is the tone a bit more serious, do you guys stick to the rules, or is the game a bit more goofy and loose with how things are handled?
It's the first campaign for two of the three players. I think they think it has had a good mix of the serious and humorous. We've gone pretty much with the rules in combat, but been a bit loose otherwise.

The Dhampir from WotC (I think it was in Wild Beyond the Witchlight?) could work. But if the game is a little more serious or story-driven, it might be interesting for your son to explore why he wants to become a vampire and how that might change how people view him.

I think my son wants his friend to drop the idea :) Having whoever helps him with it talk through everything is something I'll definitely do.

Maybe even having him talk to the vampire you guys captured to get a sense of what his life has been like (I mean it can't be going all that well if he was being hunted and captured by your PCs). What role do vampires have in your game world?

The first one was kind of a classic preying off of the people but with flair, vampire. This second one that they caught is a bit more unhinged after being trapped in White Plume Mountain for ages.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
I think my son wants his friend to drop the idea :) Having whoever helps him with it talk through everything is something I'll definitely do.

Sorry, I thought it was your son that wanted to be the vampire. It definitely sounds like he maybe just wants to be edgy. I remember when I first started playing and all I wanted to do was play an evil necromancer. :p (Honestly, still kinda do, lol)

The first one was kind of a classic preying off of the people but with flair, vampire. This second one that they caught is a bit more unhinged after being trapped in White Plume Mountain for ages.

Don't know if you're read I, Strahd, but what you said reminds me of something from that book. In it Strahd turns an old enemy into a vampire, only to lock him in a sarcophagus where he would remain immortally confined and staving for blood. It's pretty brutal, but demonstrates one of the downsides to being an eternal creature of the night.
 


As mentioned before, you have the Dhampir Lineage from Ravensloft. There is also another option and that is via the MtG Planescape online articles. There was a Vampire race in two of the articles.


Of the two, the Ixalan one is probably the one to go with as it comes with one extra ability that the Zendikar one doesn't. Outside of that, they are both the same pretty much.
 

moriantumr

Explorer
An option to share what being a vampire in world is to run a session in a dream or vision in which he gets to be a vampire. You can let him be cool, he gets to play around with it, and you get to bring in all the negatives without him committing to it yet.
My first attempt to get into role playing ended when I could not be a vampire. It took me another 10 years or so before I tried again. If the player wants to do it because they think it is cool, I would figure out a way to do it. Dhampir is an option, but if they aren’t feeling that giving them a bite attack, a couple of once per day spells, or shapeshifting into a bat or wolf will let them feel cool but not disrupt balance much.
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
For the drinking blood, I prefer the character gains a level of Exhaustion for each day without blood.

If someone volunteers to give blood, one or more levels of Exhaustion transfer to the volunteer instead. Same goes for an unwilling blood source.

There is a reason why vampirism is a curse, but at least one can manage it nonlethally.

The vampire "powers" come from being Undead. The blood only prevents exhaustion.
 


Bluebell

Explorer
Regarding Japanese lore you could use, there is a legend of a vampiric snake woman called nure onna: Nure onna | Yokai.com

Perhaps a ritual involving sea water or snakes. Or maybe something having to do with the fact that they catch their victims by giving them a "baby" to hold that turns impossibly heavy -- give the PC a ceremonial bundle that they must continue to hold onto through multiple ability checks.
 

Lakesidefantasy

Adventurer
Hey, I got 13 year old player who wants to be an undead skeleton. I gave him the reborn heritage from Van Richtens Guide and explained that being a full undead is problematic. He seems to be willing to give up on being healed by the party cleric.

Any advice?
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
Hey, I got 13 year old player who wants to be an undead skeleton. I gave him the reborn heritage from Van Richtens Guide and explained that being a full undead is problematic. He seems to be willing to give up on being healed by the party cleric.

Any advice?
Why not just let him mechanically play as a reborn, but aesthetically appear as a skeleton? The RP difficulties of walking around the living will be enough, no need to take away his access to healing.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Hey, I got 13 year old player who wants to be an undead skeleton. I gave him the reborn heritage from Van Richtens Guide and explained that being a full undead is problematic. He seems to be willing to give up on being healed by the party cleric.

Any advice?
Blood from the far away Paladinb mIght be a better model physically than a science class skeleton, he was part ogre or something iirc.

One of the other undead characters would be subjected to painful burns when working her own fully functional cleric magic analog but in the end it was revealed that it happened because she believed it should & it interacted with the necromancy keeping her soul bound to her body as a result , you could handle healing magic like that esave the surprise in your head till it's an interesting new leaf in character growth.
Here he is
 

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