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.