A vampire (pl. vampires) is a former human, now undead. They do not sparkle.


Vampires resemble the humans they were in life, but their skin is a few shades paler due to a general lack of circulation and melanin. They have a certain exuded aura of mystique and allure that even humans pick up on subconsciously. Spotting a vampire can be difficult to the untrained eye (especially if they're lurking about in a crowd of pale human flunkies), but they can be recognized by the aura of death they carry with them, if one is sensitive to such things. Also, when a vampire is "vamping out" (using any of their powers, or feeding), their eyes glow, as if their irises are jewels and someone has lit a bright fire behind them.

Compared to humans, vampires are quite simply faster and stronger. They can move fast enough to be a blur in human sight, and it's fairly easy for a vampire to do something like rip a door off its hinges, or lift someone into the air by the throat.

All vampires have especially long and sharp canines permitting them to pierce a vein neatly and with ease. In order to survive vampires must consume blood - newly turned vampires need to hunt every night to stave off the hunger, but as the centuries pass they can gain a measure of control over their thirst. While they must drink blood, they do not need to kill their victims/donors. Vampires can of course drink other liquids… but nothing except blood will sustain them. Solid foods are right out in terms of digestion - if they want the food to sit and rot in their stomach they can consume it, but in general it isn't recommended.

After at least four centuries, some vampires develop the ability to change into an animal shape (oddly, only those who have not developed the ability to fly). This is usually a small creature, but some particularly strong vampires have shapes as large as that of a wolf.

Direct sunlight causes a vampire to catch fire. Typically vampires are 'asleep' while the sun is in the sky, but after a few centuries they can retain consciousness during the day - sunlight, however, invariably burns them. Vampires are about as flammable as kindling. If you can manage to set one on fire, they won't be put out easily. Holy symbols repel vampires, and if pressed to the skin cause immediate and severe irritation - however, this is ONLY true if the wielder of the symbol has true faith in it. Decapitation or destruction of a vampire's heart (traditionally with a stake, but feel free to be creative on this point) kill a vampire. Tradition mandates the burning of the corpse and the scattering of the ashes over running water, just in case.

Vampires at least one century old are capable of turning humans into vampires - before that, they don't have the concentration or control. Turning a human into a vampire is a delicate and non-trivial procedure. The human must be brought to the brink of death before ingesting their maker's blood, and the process is aided if the vampire has fed from the human on at least one occasion before the turning. Fledglings often develop similar traits and powers as their makers, in time.

Magical Characteristics

A vampire's gaze, when met straight-on, gives them an avenue into your mind. Depending on the strength of their will, the strength of yours, and any additional metaphysical influences, they can effectively hypnotize you and encourage you to do their bidding using a type of compulsion. A vampire's voice gains tangibility with their age. Even a day old vampire can whisper something along your skin from a few feet away, but by their first or second century a vampire can trace velvet along your skin with a simple purr, or trail ice down your spine with the right words.

Vampires at least two and a half centuries old sometimes develop the ability to fly. Around the same time, some vampires gain the ability to turn into mist or shadow.

No vampire can enter a home uninvited - but this extends only to homes, not public buildings, and there must be some sort of threshhold (a tent in the woods won't cut it). Any resident can invite them in - and this invitation can be revoked as well.

Society and Habitat

Vampires fall into two loose groups - those who enjoy settled group living and those who prefer to wander on their own or in small groups. Vampires have no supreme authority, but generally the most powerful settled vampire in a city establishes a sort of court and reigns over the other locals. Solitary vampires are expected to respect this territorial authority and not cause trouble for the locals, but other than that are under no obligations. The settled court typically arranges itself with the most powerful/charismatic vampires as nobles, with their fledglings beneath them, and any human companions or servants beneath them. The head of the court (sometimes called a 'nest' by outsiders) takes on a noble title - usually Count/Countess, but sometimes Baron/Baroness, or Duke/Duchess.

The turning of a human is considered akin to having a child in vampire society, although the maker-fledgling relationship is usually more of a teacher-student relationship than a parent-child relationship. This means that any vampire making fledglings left and right would be viewed at best as irresponsible by their vampire kin, if not a threat to their society.

Humans in vampire society range from little more than slaves to trusted pets to treasured companions, depending on the personality and sentimentality of the vampire in question. Generally humans are only associated with settled vampires, and most courts don't want humans wandering in and out of their house (or lair).