Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vapor Ware

A couple of posts ago, one of my fans left this in the comments.

"I have recently started a d20 Modern Black Tokyo game with my wife and a couple of interested friends and I have a question for you about races. In the Black Tokyo book, you mention races found in Species: Udates:

Celestial Exemplar, The Cityborn, The Crowfolk, Daughters of Stone, Forest Smile Humans, Fur Choice Humans, Brimstone Humans, Dragonscale Humans, Mageborn and Prime Humans, Kitsune (originally creatures of Japanese myth), Lie Spawn, Monster Brothers, Primordial Champions, Spider Souled, Succubi Kin, Living Toys, Unbreathing, Dhampirs and Wild Fawn.

Where do I find these species updates? My wife really wants to play a dhampir."

The answer is unfortunately, no where. The Department Seven Species Update was an early project I think I last worked on it during 2007 or 2008, but officially the project has been canceled. Several of the creatures in the book found their way into other settings. A less supernatural version of the Neverborn migrated to Otherverse America, the Cityborn found their way into the Psi-Watch campaign, and the Species Update's version of Tankui and Kitsune are pretty similar to the version of the races that appeared in last year's Races of the Tatakama.

That said, Kevin, if you and your group want a copy of Species Update, email me at The manuscript is a little rougher than a published work, and probably isn't fully compatible with the modern PFRPG rules (as I'm aiming for my most recent stuff to be), but it'll be an interesting read.

Also, if anybody wants some rough, alpha-playtest Black Tokyo material, let me know at the same address. I'll be glad to send some stuff along.

Finally, I pulled the Dhampir stats from the D7 Species Update and I'll post 'em up here, unchanged. (Though I might end up releasing some of the better creatures from the Species Update as standalone racial PDFs, after thoroughly re-editing them, of course.)


Medium Humanoid

            Damphirs are the descendants of powerful vampire bloodlines. A handful are cursed by their ancestors actions, their pseudo-vampiric abilities a dim shadow, and unwelcome reminder of an ancestor’s depredations. No tie of blood binds these damphirs to their ancestors, they weren’t bit, the curse wasn’t passed genetically…. Instead the curse of vampirism is an unwelcome part of their family heritage, a mysterious curse that afflicts a few children in each generation. Other damphirs are the offspring of children convieved by vampire lovers, or the fruit of a vampiric womb.

·        Spot Check DC: DC 18. Damphirs resemble their human parents closely, but share some vampiric visual traits: elongated canines, oddly shaped or colored eyes or a lean and hungry look to their facial features. In most cases, Damphirs attempt to pass for humans with a deformity or congenital defect rather than normal humans, hiding their fangs and light sensitivity in plain sight.

·        Size: Medium. A damphir’s base land speed is 40 ft. Damphirs are far quicker and deadlier than their human counterparts.

·        Ability Score Modifiers: +2 DEX, +2 CON. Damphirs are incredibly fast and agile, and most share the physical gifts of their vampire ancestors.

·        Racial Skills: Damphirs receive a +2 racial bonus on the following skills: Bluff, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot. Like true vampires, they are natural superpredators, capable of bringing down dangerous humanoid game. 

  • Enhanced Senses: All damphirs receive darkvision with a 60 ft range, low light vision and the scent special quality.

  • Urban Predator (SU): Damphirs can move across walls and cielings as adroitly as any true vampire. The damphir can always climb sheer surfaces as if under the effects of the spider climb spell.

  • Unnatural Weapons (EX): The Damphir possesses a natural bite attack which inflicts 1d6 HP, and threatens a critical hit on a roll of natural 20. The Damphir is always considered proficient in this natural attack mode, and is considered armed when attacking with his or her fangs.

  • Fast Healing 1 (EX): The Damphir always heals 1 point of damage per round, so long as it has at least 1 HP remaining. When the Damphir is reduced to 0 HP or fewer, this regenerative ability is suspended. The Damphir’s fast healing abilities cannot negate damage based upon the creature’s racial weaknesses.

  • Blood Feeder (EX): The damphir’s metabolism is tied to blood. At least once every three days, the Damphir must drain the blood from any medium or larger living creature, killing it in the process. A damphir can attempt to use its fangs to inflict a coup de grace on any living creature to satisfy this craving. The creature need not be sientient; Damphirs can choose to feed on animals instead of humans.
If the Damphir does not feed, it suffers 1d4 points of WIS and CON drain per day, and loses the Damphir’s racial fast healing ability until he or she finally feeds. This damage cannot be healed until the Damphir finally feeds.
  • Racial Weaknesses: Damphirs share many of the weaknesses of their vampire ancestors. All Damphirs are light sensitive, suffering a –2 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks and saving throws when in sunlight or bright artificial light.

In addition, the Damphir must select an additonal racial weakness from the following list. Once chosen, the racial weakness cannot be changed.

            Daylight Mortality (SU): The touch of the sun does not burn the Dhampir. It does something worse: it makes the Dhamphir an ordinary man. The Dhaphir loses access to all racial traits, enhanced senses and racial attribute modifiers during daylight hours. These traits are supressed, and recover instantly at sundown. The Dhamphir also suffers the typical –2 morale penalty, in addition to becoming mortal. Sunlight utterly destroys the Dhamphir’s strength.

Dhampiric Fury (EX): If the Dhampir is ever reduced to ½ HP or less in battle, it immediately frenzies, entering a berzerk rage state, seeking to avenge the injury at all cost. While berzerk, the Dhampir will attack indiscriminately, killing anything that moves as quickly and efficienctly as possible. While raging, the Dhampir cannot attempt any skill or tactic involving patience or concentration.
Once the target of the Damphir’s rage is slain, the vampire spawn will turn on any one, even friends or civilians. If all targets in the area are slain, the Dhampir will actively search out new prey. Each round, and immediately prior to attacking an ally or non-combatant, the Dhampir can attempt a WILL Save to end the berzerk state. The WILL Save is initially DC 40; the DC is reduced by one until either the berzerk state ends or the Dhampir’s rage eventually ‘times out.’

            Hydrophobic Nature (SU): The Dhamphir cannot abide the purity and ever changing mystic nature of running water. If exposed to trace amounts of water (a household shower, a rainstorm, being hit with a squirt gun or having to cross a stream or lake) the vampire suffers a –2 morale penalty on attack rolls, skill checks and saving throws. A high pressure stream of water (from a firehose, for example) inflicts 2d6 points of damage per hit, as the flesh literaly peels from the Dhampir’s bones. The Dhampir’s fast healing ability can negate this damage.

            Ultraviolet Instability (EX): The Dhampir is as vunerable to sunlight as its vampire forebears. Each round the Dhamphir is exposed to sunlight or UV intense artificial light, it suffers 1d6 points of HP damage per round. The Dhampir’s fast healing ability cannot regenerate this damage; it must heal normally. If the Dhamphir is fully covered (thanks to clothing, shade or armor) the HP loss is reduced to 1d2 points of damage per round.

            Vampiric Curse (SU): The Dhampir may or may not be evil, but it is an unholy, demonic creature, despised by God and mistrusted by man. The Dhampir suffers a –2 morale penalty on any creature prominently wearing or brandishing any holy symbol. A holy symbol’s touch deals 1d4 points of damage; a dhampir reduced to 0 HP  by the presence of a holy object is destroyed completely. The Dhampir may be turned as an undead of its total hit dice/character level by a cleric or acolyte.
            Vampire Law (SU): The Dhampir is bound by the restrictions common to true vampires. The Dhampir cannot enter a private residence unles invited in by the rightful owner or tenant. The Dhamphir cannot enter any 5 ft square warded with garlic, and suffers a –2 penalty on attack rolls against anyone wearing garlic or garlic essensce. The Dhamphir does not have a reflection and cannot be seen in a mirror.

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