This is a continuation of my previous post on the subject. For part one, click here.
We're approaching zero day with my group of first time D&D players, and I've selected a couple of easy, introductory adventures to run them through. But I'll admit, with Halloween around the corner and Castlevania returning to Netflix later this month, I'm sorely tempted to run them through Transylvania instead.
The more I read through Lamentations of the Flame Princess, the more convinced I am that it's the perfect version of D&D to run a Castlevania-themed adventure with. Almost everything can be done with rules as written, and the rest can be handled with a simple re-skin.
To prove the point (and flesh things out a bit more), today I'm tackling Alucard.
Bit of background: I was a huge Ravenloft nerd back in my AD&D 2e days, and I bought every supplement for it I could lay my pimply little hands on. One of the neatest was the Masque of the Red Death and Other Tales boxed set, an alternate Victorian Earth in which player characters faced off against the likes of Dracula, Jack the Ripper, and Frankenstein's monster. Masque of the Red Death spawned a couple of supplements itself, one of which was A Guide to Transylvania. I ended up leaning heavily on it for my off-the-cuff Castlevania campaign.
Anyway, one thing 2e was bad for (especially towards the end) was introducing new races and classes for every little character variation. Want to play a Gladiator in old school, B/X D&D? He's a Fighter. Done.
But late 2e had the Gladiator Fighter's Kit (from The Complete Fighter's Handbook) the Gladiator class (from Dark Sun), and The Complete Gladiator's Handbook (which contained several kits for the Dark Sun Gladiator Class). Not to mention the Gladiator kit introduced in the The Glory of Rome sourcebook. Or the one introduced in Player's Option: Skills and Powers.
Ravenloft and Masque of the Red Death were no different, and Guide to Transylvania introduced the new dhampir race. It was a half-human, half-vampire hybrid with way too many racial abilities and nowhere near enough disadvantages to make up for them.
To avoid making the same power-creep mistakes here, I'm simply going to re-skin the Lamentations of the Flame Princess Elf as a dhampir. No, it doesn't have many racial abilities, but according to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, most of Alucard's abilities came from his magic items and learned spells. I'll put a couple at the end here, like I did with Trevor's Vampire Killer whip. As before, I'll preface the stats with a new, Castlevania-appropriate class description.
Dracula and his vampire spawn prowl the night, and while their hunger for blood is legendary, the darker truth is that some harbor other appetites. While the Prince of Darkness is known to have loved only one woman, the same cannot be said for the other vampires stalking the lonely mountain passes of Wallachia.
Some vampires charm their way into their victims' bedchambers, dropping them into a dreamlike state and ordering them to remove crosses and garlic from the windows. Others entice them out into the night, promising dark pleasures no human lover could hope to match. Whatever method the undead sire chooses to seduce his target, dhampirs—the children of these unholy unions—are truly damned souls. Neither human nor vampire, they live a grey nether-existence, hated and shunned by mortals and undead alike.
Dhampir physical appearances vary as widely as those of humans, but often there is some feature telling of their unnatural parentage. Many have pale, almost porcelain-white skin. Others have odd, striking eye colors such as gold or cerulean blue. Still others have oversized, sharp canine teeth.
Due to their supernatural blood, dampirs are naturally gifted in the arts of magic. Unlike human Magic Users, dhampirs only require one free hand in order to cast spells, and they can cast while heavily encumbered. They use the same spell list and spell progression table as Magic Users.
Dhampirs have a certain physical prowess above that of most humans. As such, they get access to the Fighter's Press Attack and Defensive Fighting abilities, as well as sharing the Fighter's +4 AC bonus when choosing to parry. They do not gain attack bonuses for leveling up. Additionally, their senses are more acute than those of full-blooded humans, enabling them to notice more while Searching (2 in 6 at first level). They are only surprised on a roll of 1 in 6.
Dhampirs begin the game with a minimum of 4 hit points (Roll 1d6 and add CON bonus, ignore any result lower than 4).
Dhampir / Level 5 / Chaotic
Hit Points: 29 (d6 Hit Die) Melee Attack Bonus: +2 Ranged Attack Bonus: +2
Base Armor Class: 17 (Alucard Mail 16, +DEX bonus)
Press Attack: +2 to hit, -4 to AC
Defensive Fighting: +2 to AC, -4 to Hit
Parry: +4 to AC
Charisma 16 ( +2 to Retainer Recruitment, Loyalty)
Constitution 13 ( +1 to Hit Points, Daily Travel Distance)
Dexterity 15 ( +1 to Armor Class, Ranged Attack Bonus, Initiative)
Intelligence 13 ( +1 to Saves vs Magic Effects, Languages)
Strength 14 ( +1 to Melee Attack Bonus, Open Doors)
Wisdom 13 ( +1 to Saves vs Non-magical Effects)
Spells Per Level:
1st Level / 2nd Level / 3rd Level
3 2 1
Architecture 1 in 6
Bushcraft 1 in 6
Climbing 1 in 6
Languages 2 in 6 (Base 1 in 6, plus INT bonus)
Open Doors 2 in 6
Search 3 in 6
Sleight of Hand 1 in 6
Sneak Attack damage x1
Stealth 1 in 6
Tinkering 1 in 6
Saving Throws: Paralyze Poison Breath Weapon Magical Device Magic
Base: 11 10 13 11 13
With bonuses: 10 9 12 10 12
2nd Level Spell
Duration: 2 rounds/caster level
Converts enemy blood to life force. Once cast, this spell heals the caster for the equivalent of 1/2 hp for every point of damage dealt to an enemy, rounded up. The regenerated HP cannot exceed the caster's current maximum, and the enemy must be capable of shedding blood.
1st Level Spell
Range: 100' + 10'/Level
This spell causes a small ball of fire to shoot forth and strike a target of the caster's choosing, causing 1d6+1 damage. The target must be at least partially visible to the caster. For every three caster levels after 1st, an additional fireball is generated: two at 4th level, three at 7th, four at 10th, and the maximum number of five at 13th level and above.
Crissaegrim (Medium Sword, +2)
Crissaegrim is a medium-sized sword with an elegant, curved blade. It grants its user +2 to attack, and does 1d8 points of damage. Additionally, Crissaegrim has has a "cyclone attack" power, which can be used twice per day and lasts for one turn. When activated, every successful attack with Crissaegrim allows the user to make another, instant attack roll for an additional 1d8 damage. These attacks continue until an attack roll fails, the target is killed, or the maximum number of four attacks is reached.
Soul of Bat (Artifact):
When activated, this artifact enables the user to cast a limited polymorph spell, transforming him or her into a giant bat. The spell lasts for 1d10 turns, or until deactivated. It can be used three times per day.
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