Unless your postcode is MOON 1, you'll have noticed that we seem to be in the middle of a prolonged period of vampire infestation. If it isn't drippy Edward, it's Justin Cronin and his infectious bloodsuckers, a theme mirrored by Del Toro and Hogan in The Strain. Then there's Blood and Ice by Robert Massello, The Vampire Diaries, Blood Ties, True Blood, Blade, the obligatory Buffy and Angel re-runs...
Afficionados of UK TV will remember Ultraviolet (the TV series not the film) which had a Vatican-backed government hit squad taking out bloodsuckers while they plotted to blot out the sun and farm us like livestock, but that was 12 years ago and at the time, innovative and fresh. Shame it only had one series.
I started to watch Cronos (del Toro again) the other night and found it quite interesting until the old guy escapes cremation and finds himself smouldering in the sun and getting a taste for blood. I turned off - Vampires! Again!
In RPGs, it's a common theme as well, with Ravenloft and VtM (or VtR, depending on your choice) leading the pack. The vampire is regarded as the mightiest of the undead in the MM and often serves as the Big Bad when it comes to evil opposition.
So is it heresy for me to say that I'm all vampired out? I can't get enthusiastic about drippy, sensitives, plague-ridden predators or castle-bound counts. In short, I think I'm going to axe them from my MM.
The vampire itself is an interesting phenomenon. I've often speculated that their mythology has a lot to do with anti-Semitism - the blood libel, the day that begins at sunset, the rejection of the cross. The psycho-sexual undertones of Gothic vampire horror; yeah, they're a great subject but I don't think they'll work for my game.
We all have pretty fixed ideas about the fanged ones. Some say they can't go out during the day. Others say they can drink animal blood instead of feasting on humans. Some say they convert only the willing, others that they prefer the unwilling. Whatever trope of vampirism we might adopt for our games, it's bound to clash with someone else's.
So, what to do? I need something really original, something that's not doing the rounds, something that's going to surprise. The vampire, methinks, won't work for me.
So what's your take on the fanged ones? Edward or Angel? Strahd Von Zarovich or Nosferatu? Good for the game or time to go?
Benbo, 3rd level Fighter/4th level Thief - he who dares.
Galzor, 4th level cleric - mysteriously disappeared along with the Third and his coffin.
Zanurax, 3rd level thief (recovering from being partly eaten by a lion and has now gone to join Merlin)
Olaf, 4th level dwarven fighter, now returning to his clan halls
Merlin, 3rd level thief (called away on the business of the Thieves' Guild)
Adthar, 4th level fighter - currently both an Ettin and a statue
Elador, nth level magic-user - called away on special assignments but will act as mentor and adviser to the team
Galadeus, 2nd level ranger - drowned and then eaten by a shark.....aaaaaand he's BACK! aaaaaaaaand he's dead again.
What I'm DMing for 6 new junior players
Old School Links to Wisdom
Give your d12...
...some Old School love
Call of Cthulhu - visit our wiki
That's what Old School means to me
"These rules are flexible and open to interpretation - designed not to cover all conceivable situations, but to allow good Referees and Players the freedom to create and play games of their own design."
from the Lulu download page for The White Box S&W from BHP
"This game is unlike chess in that the rules are not cut and dried. In many places, they are guidelines and suggested methods only. This is part of the attraction of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons"
Over halfway to 90, I started playing AD&D when the Police were a cool band and Punk was wild. I am a father to a ten-year-old Junior Grognard and have now managed to establish a five-strong gaming group made up of him and four of his friends, ages ranging from 10 to 11. Solidly Old-School.
High fives and natural 20s to you all!