Posted by : David Guyll July 22, 2011

Mearls made the big reveal on Monday that the vampire class was deliberately designed, as is, to try and provide a class option that could closely emulate one or more vampire entries in the Monster Manual. This is a reasonable goal that I tried to attain with my homebrew red dragon race/class; take a critter that was never intended to be played on the players' side of the screen, and make it functional and recognizable despite a lack of flexibility.

To me, making sure that it does what the monster is supposed to do takes priority over trying to saddle it with options that do not really make any sense, but going down the vampire's list of racial features and powers we have regeneration, necrotic resistance, radiant vulnerability, lethal side effects from the sun, the ability to drink blood/drain life, punch the shit out of people, charm them, turn into a swarm of bats, turn into a wolf and bat, and a bunch of other stuff that sounds very vampiric in execution.

You know, all the shit that this guy does not do.
The big shocker is that after providing a race, class, feat tree (though admittedly a poor one), and a multiclassing/hybrid option, that it is still not good enough for the vocal minority.

Ironically one detractor wanted a theme, which would provide way fewer options than the class iteration (like, 3-6 in total), not to mention that themes are optional rules that players without DDI accounts would likely be introduced to via Dark Sun Campaign Setting if at all, meaning that it is possible that their total number of themes to choose from would be exactly one.

But hey, it is all right because having a theme would open up more concepts, right? I mean, what if I want to play a wizard-turned-vampire? Currently my "only" options are to play a vryloka, go with the dhampyr feats, pick up vampire multiclassing as a wizard/wizard multiclassing as a vampire, or hybrid the two. I suppose I could also try combining these options to get my vampire-to-wizard ratio close to where I want it, probably exactly where I want it.

Could use a pointy hat, but that will do.
Others still cling to the misconception that it is a "poor striker". I did some number crunching myself, and while it is not strictly as good as an optimized rogue it comes close despite lacking vampire-specific feat support. However, it is important to note that an optimized rogue should not be the benchmark we are looking for. I have also played a vampire, and it was awesome; I did not have a problem with healing surges (not that I got hit), and did an insane amount of damage almost every round. I was able to contribute without being a liability, and felt very much like a vampire in the process.

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