I love vampires. I love werewolves more, but I simply adore vampires. The problem is that vampires are a high-level threat. I mean…they don’t have to be, but they totally are.
And that’s what vampire spawn are for, right? Sure, they’re the vampire’s minions and guardians. They act as mooks and fodder as you move toward the ultimate vampire threat. But they’re also perfect low-level vampire threats. For a group of level 4 PCs, a vampire spawn is a big deal. In a horror game, it’s a perfect taste of what’s to come in the second leg of your journey.
That said, vampire spawn have a problem.
The problem is just that they’re so…boring. They’re really just mini-vampires, but without all of the REALLY cool stuff that comes with vampires. No glamour, no flight, no shape changing. They can climb on walls, and that can serve to make them different and creepy when compared to a real vampire. But if that’s the only thing to make them unique, then it’s an unfortunate failing of the monster.
I propose that vampire spawn should be treated like drakes. They are created with purpose. Most commonly, spawn are designated “drones,” as presented in the Monster Manual. However, some vampire spawn are designed for other purposes. Hunters, trappers, soldiers, etc.
Therefore, instead of one new monster, I present you with two new vampire spawn for your games!
Vampire Spawn “Lasher”
Lashers are one of the more frightening forms that vampire spawn take. Their skin turns black as night when they change, and they have the innate ability to expel their veins from their body like whips and ropes to maneuver and assault foes. Their blood is also poisonous to living beings, and they can inject it directly through their vein-lashes. Lashers are stealthy scouts and assassins, attacking in groups to overwhelm foes in order to tenderize them for their vampire masters.
Vampire Spawn “Hulk”
If lashers are lithe and maneuverable, hulks are their opposite. Heavy, brutal beasts, they develop a chitinous exoskeleton after being turned that prevents them from being staked, and their musculature is enhanced to ridiculous levels. Unlike normal vampire spawn, hulks do not have claws, as their hands lose all definite form and transform into pummeling bone-hammers. Their greatest strength, however, is that their natural armor protects them from the harmful rays of the sun, allowing them to walk in daylight. Hulks are obviously born to be guardians and enforcers, crushing foes who would dare to harm their masters.
As always, here’s the PDF FILE.