Vampire/Ghoul Rework Idea

Following off of Vampires Suck

0.24+ Vampires have long been seen as awkward. It’s often encouraged to stay in one form for most of the game, so their defining gimmick is rarely used. Plus, it makes no sense from a flavour standpoint (why can you change your blood level at will?)

This idea aims to take ghouls “sustained combat” semi-niche and combine it with Vampire. It’s vampiric after all. It is intended to be an intermediate species.


  • 90% HP, apts similar to current Vampire. Possibly boost Ice/Earth/Necro.
  • Permanently undead. This includes rC+ / rN+++ / poison immunity , torment immunity, mutation immunity, no forms other than Bat.
  • Start with the -Regen mutation, SInv, Fangs, & a boost to stealth. (Possibly Nightstalker 1?)
  • Bat Form is always available, but inflicts HP drain instead of stat drain.


  • Whenever you damage a blood-filled enemy in range-1, gain ranks of the “blood” status. This activates even for spells, evocables, & ranged attacks. (To compensate, the fangs bite no longer steals HP directly.)
    The more blood you have, the more you gain. Like berserk/Usk, they quickly drop once you stop attacking:
    • Increasing regen bonus for each stack, bypassing the -Regen.
    • At blood level X, you become Alive. This gives you some benefit, like a % chance to double attack, or lazily, a flat % increase to damage. However, you lose access to Bat Form.
      Alive is the soft cap. You gain still gain blood stacks when alive, but they don’t do anything but prolong the duration.

This blood gimmick could be tied to holiness (living/demonic/holy) instead of blood. You could also add a new line to xv that only vampires/Ignite Blood demonspawn can see.

You could also change how the blood gimmick activates. It doesn’t make a ton of sense that magic causes you to steal blood. Instead, you could do “whenever you attempt to damage an enemy at range-1, bite that enemy. If the bite hits, gain a rank of the blood status”.

Alternatively, you could just have it activate on kill. However, there’s a lot of things that fill a similar design niche (Mahkleb, Maw, new Song of Slaying), so I think it’s best to avoid that.

EDIT: I think this ends up being really similar to Vine Stalker. I hope being undead, having different aptitudes, and the special Alive effect would differentiate it enough.

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I like the base redesign idea, if they get to keep Vp’s hex/stabber oriented aptitudes and stats.

The blood gimmick shouldn’t penalise (no bat form) you at high stacks IMO, it always feels bad to have an inherent downside for repeatedly doing your most common action, like attacking, especially when breakpoints are involved (will this next attack make my escape unusable? etc.) .

I don’t think that blood drinking needs to be attack only, spell vampirism is a common enough trope in video games. I do like the blood stacks idea, maybe they can be gained each time enemy blood is spilled? So stone arrow will get you some, but ozo fridge won’t. Might be hard to communicate info to the player.

I also think that using a XP-based cooldown system for escape abilities makes more sense than various kinds of drain. Like you get Bat Form at XL:3 and if you use it, it takes 1 or 0.5 of current XL XP value to recharge, or something like that.

As a player I would tend to agree, but as a designer I wouldn’t. Forcing players to think about whether to either A. use the escape option early, or B. take advantage of blood bonus, is a very pertinent choice. If more interesting choices = good then it is a positive mechanic.

Plus, by having it be a breakpoint, you’d know exactly when you lose your options. You can make the decay slow enough that waiting to decay is unviable.

Ah, that’s what I meant. Any way to damage a range-1 foe would count. So e.g. Irradiate would get +1 blood stack per cast.

Forcing players to think about whether to either A. use the escape option early, or B. take advantage of blood bonus, is a very pertinent choice.

I guess it depends on how fast you get the stacks and how slowly they decay. I just think that in practice very few fights will present the actual choice: either you run right away, or you are so full of blood that it’s not an option at all, but maybe that’s fine.

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This sounds like a really fun design for a race that’s all about sustained combat - I could definitely see this as a ghoul rework. As a vampire rework, I think I’d like to see it provide more value to stabbers. I’ve mostly played them post-food, so I associate them with healing on stabs, rather than changing racial perks mid-fight. I really enjoy the tactical depth of trying to set up a stab (on any foe) to turn around a losing fight, and I’d love to see the new vampire preserve that.

As an idea of what I mean: perhaps this new vampire would consume stacks of blood whenever they get a stab, getting a large heal at the cost of resetting the stacks to zero. This would give the player a choice between “I want to build stacks” (longblade/magic/wand) and “I need healing right now” (net/invis potion/switch to a distracted target). It would also give a way for the player to deliberately become eligible to become a bat again (so maybe help out with @PaperRat’s concerns.)