Posted by : David Guyll May 14, 2011

Last week Randy ran The Wayward Wyrmling, an adventure that I reviewed in the past and enjoyed. The adventure is basically three encounters with kobolds, including traps, difficult terrain, and a dragon (in that order), culminating with the possibility that you walk away with a pet dragon. Since we were having a few new people play, Randy prepared a bunch of Essentials-pregens...including a halfling vampire. Since the vocal minority was positive that it was too weak and couldn't deal enough damage to keep up, I was eager to give it a shot and see how it would play out.

It did not disappoint.

The first encounter was kind of annoying due to all of the save-ends immobilizing traps, but one the cleric "found them" we were able to skirt around pretty easily. By skirt around, I mean that I was able to charge-slam kobolds for 13 or so damage with an at-will. I did one-shot a kobold when I lumped blood drain (because I wanted to play it safe). I think I got hit once, but since I didn't roll a surge into my encounter attack, once we wrapped things up I just full-healed anyway.

The second encounter was a bit different in that we could see the disabling terrain feature this time. Running around would have taken too long, so I just sat there and spammed whatever at-will pulls the target, dealing a lot of damage and causing them to take a dive. I never got hit once or used any encounters, not for lack of the kobolds trying mind you (AC of 20 and second chance).

The last encounter allowed us some freedom in that we only had to worry about a wyrmpriest and dragon, though the river did give us pause until we realized that it didn't do anything. As with the last encounter, I never got hit, though I did nab a surge from the kobold before polishing him off with an action point. Eventually the dragon just left, and we didn't bother wrapping anything up because it was a one-shot introductory play-test session.

At least up until 3rd level, the vampire is pretty fucking badass. Pretty hard to hit, which meant that I wasn't able to see how well regeneration would have helped. Had I got hit more than once, I would have started using the at-will that gives you temp hps at all  in order to give me a buffer. I am disappointed that I never had a worthwhile opportunity to take the daily for a spin. Would I play a vampire in a full campaign? Probably. There are other characters that have a high appeal, but to me it demonstrates that with the right monster you can have a viable, entertaining experience. I hope WotC puts out more in future books or Dragon articles.

{ 5 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. In my second group i have a vryloka vampire and he didnt get hit even once during the entire session, he was very agile and delivered decent amounts of damage. My only concern is how good this class would be for a long term campaign or would a full fledged class would be a better option.

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  2. Sorry to say, but the way you describe this you make it sound like a MMO.

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  3. Well, I suppose after playing several MMOs over the years I've become used to people discussing how best to overcome certain mobs and bosses, and the way you describe how your character dealt with the kobolds encountered, and the use of specific skills in doing so. Seemed quite detached, I suppose, very much like an MMO player talking about button combos and power-ups and cool-downs, etc.

    I suppose it's because I'm not used to hearing/reading actual role playing described that way; breaking it down to pure game mechanics.

    Hope you weren't offended, just an observation.

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  4. It was more of a guarded statement. I was half-expected a seque into MMO comparisons. :-)

    I agree that the report lacked exposition and attention to non-combat details, but it was a one-shot delve night that was also serving as a tutorial for some out of town friends. We were pressed for time and mostly using pregens, so didn't have time to really get into the narrative (such as it was).

    Basically, the DM just said that we were hired by a dwarf to get a baby dragon for its skin...I think. I dunno. For me, it was mainly a way to playtest the vampire to see how its defenses and attacks measured up, since it has garnered a lot of negative criticism based largely on observation.

    The intend was to illustrate that I was able to hold my own, dealing out a shit-ton of damage and avoid being insta-killed despite having only two healing surges.

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