Vampires are the product of unnatural concentrations of negative energy generated through war, famine, cannibalism, or great injustice. The standard vampire that we know as the common variety is far removed from this first cause, but it still thrives on the same negative energy. Vampires have a natural sensitivity to places where negative energy pools, and this is why they are often found at the center of wars, revolutions, and corruption.
But there is more to this story. Unbeknownst to all but the most erudite sages, vampires are a necessary byproduct of the natural order of things. The process that forms a vampire spawn from a creature slain by a vampire actually sucks ambient negative energy out of the prime material plane, concentrating it in the undead life force of the newly revived spawn. Vampires act as living conduits of negative energy, channeling it into themselves through their own actions, then feeding off it and destroying it in the process.
Thus, the deities that govern good and law allow vampires to exist. Their followers are sent to defeat the vampires, but the scales can never tip too far. By their very nature, vampires act as lightning rods for negative energy; as they feed off it, they reduce its concentration in the world, and they absorb the foul byproducts of human conflict that would otherwise attract far greater evils.
A few vampires gain true insight into their natural position in the world. These arch-vampires do not accept that the gods should “allow” vampires to exist. The most powerful arch-vampires become demi-gods and travel to the outer planes, where they direct armies of minions and sponsor other arch-vampires.
For generations, the old gods regarded the arch-vampire demi-gods as a natural correction mechanism, much like wolves who feed on overpopulated deer. But now the wolves seek to become king. The vampire armies are becoming more active, and the forces of good have stepped up their efforts against them. For the first time, the scales are tipping toward the vampires’ favor.
The Complete Guide to Vampires takes you into this world of bloodlust and power in an exploration of the greatest monster of all time. Learn of the many varieties of vampire, the strange energy that connects them all, and the greater implications of their presence in the world.
- Answers to the origin, true nature, and role of the vampire, complete with history, background, and motivations.
- Rules for playing vampires as player characters, complete with racial levels that dovetail with the standard MM vampire.
- Six new kinds of vampire, plus new rules to round out the vampire experience: blood points, aging categories, and more than two dozen feats especially for vampires.
- Special prestige classes for vampires and other free-willed undead: the arch-vampire, lightning zombie, necrologist, and soul stealer — plus the Veldrane Hunter, he who would hunt the vampire.
- New equipment, magic items, and monsters.
- Everything the DM needs to slot vampires easily into his game, including dozens of pregenerated stat blocks at different CRs, plus advice on running a campaign full of vampires.
- And much more, all of it compatible with the 3.5 revision!
Writer: Mark Charke
Additional Writing: Bret Boyd and Joseph Goodman
Cover Artist: Alejandro Villen Real
Interior Artists: Claudio Muniz and Alejandro Villen Real